David McKee to be Illustrator of the Fair at LBF

News - Children Monday, 11 February 2019

Elmer creator stars in Illustrate Your Point programme

David McKee, whose enduring creation Elmer the patchwork elephant is 30 this year, is to be the 2019 London Book Fair (LBF) Illustrator of the Fair.

McKee will be at the fair on Tuesday 12 March, when he will be in conversation as part of LBF's Illustrate Your Point strand. The programme (below) will also include a diary of a creative director event with Vintage's Suzanne Dean, recently interviewed by BookBrunch (see here). The Illustrators' Gallery at the fair will feature Chris Riddell's League of Laureates illustrations from Flights of Fancy: Stories Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children's Laureates (Walker).

The Elmer series has been translated into more than 50 languages, selling more than 10 million copies round the world.

McKee said: "I have been making children's books and illustrating for a long time, so to be asked now to be the Illustrator of the London Book Fair is a surprise and a real honour. I've always said with picture books, both the words and the illustrations tell the story - what you've drawn you don't have to write – so for the London Book fair to now promote the work of an illustrator in this way is very important. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and talking about my favourite thing - making pictures."

Jacks Thomas, LBF director, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to host David McKee as Illustrator of the Fair this year, and there's even more to celebrate with the 30th anniversary of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. In its second year, the Illustrate Your Point programme is a very special part of the fair, and 2019 sees even more exciting events that showcase the importance of illustration and design in the publishing industry."

The announcement follows those of the three Authors of the Fair (Caryl Phillips, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Holly Bourne), the Poet of the Fair (Raymond Antrobus), and the London Book and Screen Week Ambassador (James Runcie).

Rising Stars: Children's Authors and Illustrators from the Baltics
(Tuesday 12 March, 11.30-12.30: Children's Hub)
In Conversation with David McKee, Illustrator of the Fair
(Tuesday 12 March, 13.15–13.45: Fireside Chat Theatre)
Illustrators' Afternoon
(Tuesday 12 March, 14.30-18.30: Club Room, National Hall Gallery)
From Braille to Kandinsky: Unique Visual language of Agrafka Art Studio (Bologna Ragazzi Award Winners)
(Tuesday 12 March, 16.00-17.00: Olympia Room Grand Hall)
Breaking New Ground: A Launch and Call to Action - Celebrating British Writers and Illustrators of Colour
(Wednesday 13 March, 10.00-11.00: Children's Hub)
Looking into the Future: Children's Picture Book Illustration in the Spotlight
(Wednesday 13 March, 13.00-14.00: Children's Hub)
Diary of a Creative Director
(Wednesday 13 March, 16.00-17.00: Children's Hub)
Cover Meeting: An Insight Into the Cover Design Process
(Wednesday 13 March, 14.30-15.30: Olympia Room Grand Hall)

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