David McKee announced as LBF’s Illustrator of the Fair

David McKee announced as LBF’s Illustrator of the Fair

The London Book Fair (LBF) is delighted to announce bestselling writer and illustrator David McKee as this year’s Illustrator of the Fair.

David McKee is the creator of the iconic children’s book series Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, published by Andersen Press. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first Elmer book. The series, spanning over 26 original stories, has been translated in over 50 languages, selling more than 10 million copies around the world.

David McKee commented:

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.

David McKee will be attending LBF on Tuesday 12 March, when he will discuss his career and bestselling Elmer series at a special ‘In Conversation’ event, as part of the Illustrate Your Point programme.

Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair, 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 Book Fair, and 2019 sees even more exciting events that showcase the importance of illustration and design in the publishing industry.

The designers behind the sell-out Killed Covers events will bring a brand-new event to LBF, COVER MEETING: An Insight into the Cover Design process, which will be a practical session to uncover how the decisions leading to the creation of the final book cover are made. Award-winning VINTAGE’s Creative Director Suzanne Dean will share her career highlights and tips of how to get your first job in design in Diary of a Creative Director, and Agrafka Art Studio (Bologna Ragazzi Award Winners) will talk about their unique visual language in From Braille to Kandinsky.

Other events include Looking into the Future: Children’s Picture Book Illustration, organised by Klaus Flugge Prize, for anyone with an interest in creating or selling picture books, and Breaking New Ground: A Launch and Call to Action Celebrating British Writers and Illustrators of Colour where Speaking Volumes will launch Breaking New Ground, a brochure celebrating the contribution of 100 British writers and illustrators who are producing brilliant work for children and young people.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate – managed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity – The London Book Fair’s Illustrators’ Gallery will exhibit illustrations of the ‘League of Laureates’ as drawn by the fantastically talented Chris Riddell (Laureate from 2015 – 2017). The illustrations feature in a beautiful gift anthology Flights of Fancy: Stories, pictures and inspiration from ten Children’s Laureates (Walker Books), which is brimming with inspirational anecdotes, imaginative creations and incredible illustration.

During the Illustrators’ Afternoon on Tuesday 12 March, art and creative directors will meet illustrators for quick fire appointments to give advice and feedback about their portfolios.

The Illustrators’ Gallery is one of the most eye-catching areas of the Fair and will welcome attendees to network with up-and-coming illustrators and commission new projects. This has been developed in consultation with the Association of Illustrators (AOI).

Illustrate Your Point events will take place in LBF’s Children’s Hub, Fireside Chat Theatre, Club Room and Olympia Room Grand Hall and are listed below.


To access our 2019 Illustrate Your Point seminar programme, make sure to purchase a Visitor ticket to The London Book Fair here.

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