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Congratulations to Frank Cottrell-Boyce on Becoming the New Children's Laureate

The Sefton community is buzzing with excitement and pride as Frank Cottrell-Boyce, a resident of Blundellsands, has been named the new Children's Laureate. This prestigious role, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, honors an individual who has made a significant impact on children's literature. Cottrell-Boyce, a multi-award-winning author and screenwriter, is a perfect fit for this celebrated position.

Cottrell-Boyce's journey as a children's author began with his debut novel, *Millions*, published in 2004. The book won the CILIP Carnegie Medal, an award given for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people. Since then, he has written a series of beloved books, including *Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again*, *Cosmic*, *Framed*, *The Astounding Broccoli Boy*, and *Runaway Robot*. His storytelling has not only entertained and inspired young readers but has also championed the value and recognition of children's literature.

In addition to his literary accomplishments, Cottrell-Boyce has an impressive portfolio as a script and screenwriter. He co-devised the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, co-wrote the Platinum Jubilee Paddington sketch, and contributed to *Doctor Who*, *Goodbye Christopher Robin*, and most recently, *The Beautiful Game*.

Upon receiving the bespoke silver laureate medal from his predecessor, Joseph Coelho, at a ceremony at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds, Cottrell-Boyce expressed his pride and commitment to his new role. "Writing and reading have transformed my life," he said. "Our children are living through the aftermath of a series of crises—the pandemic, wars, and an unfolding environmental crisis. The only public conversation is about how we can make our children 'catch up,' which seems to me a kind of code for forgetting this ever happened. None of us has the slightest idea about what the future now holds for them, but the one thing we do know is that they will need to know how to be happy."

Cottrell-Boyce emphasised the importance of giving every child the opportunity to build happiness within themselves. "I will use my time as Waterstones Children's Laureate to call for a reset in our attitude towards how we value children's books and reading—to start this story again—and to campaign for the millions of children living in poverty to be given the same life-changing chances. To stand up for the children in this country and their Reading Rights. Whoever wins Thursday's election has a huge responsibility. Whoever we wake up to Friday morning, they have the power to make a revolutionary change in children's lives."

The Sefton Bubble is thrilled to celebrate Frank Cottrell-Boyce's achievement and looks forward to the positive impact he will undoubtedly make as the new Children's Laureate. His dedication to children's literature and his advocacy for reading rights are truly inspiring.

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