Anyone who has anything to do with children's books will know that Micheal Rosen has been our Children's Laureate for a while now. Each incumbent has 2 years to do what they can to promote young people's reading. It's a fairly new post and the first was Quentin Blake, a personal favourite of mine. He's one of the few illustrators who manages to carry the casual quality of the original sketch through to the finished artwork.
I got to meet Jaqueline Wilson when it was her turn, as she was presenting the Red House awards, the year I was shortlisted for Mr Strongmouse and the Baby. She really is the warmest, gentlest person.
I heard Micheal Rosen speak at this year's Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Group conference. He is very passionate about the current trend for teaching literacy in schools by reading excerpts, but never whole stories, so children don't get to find out about the joy of getting lost in a book.
This is a tiny sketch I did of him. There are more in the Picture Gallery.
Now you can help to decide who will be the next Children's Laureate. They can be any living British author or illustrator of children's books. Visit the website and put forward your nomination. It's open to adults and kids, but if you are under 14, you also get the chance to enter a competition: you might win the chance to go the the announcement ceremony in London in June 2009.