Rob Biddulph Announced as LBF’s Illustrator of the Fair

Rob Biddulph Announced as LBF’s  Illustrator of the Fair

Illustration Programme at LBF 2020 revealed

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The London Book Fair (LBF) is delighted to announce bestselling and multi award-winning author/illustrator Rob Biddulph as this year’s Illustrator of the Fair.

Rob Biddulph’s first picture book, Blown Away, was only the second illustrated book in history to win the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Odd Dog Out was nominated for a total of eight literary prizes, winning the BSC Festival of Literature Picture Book Award and the UKLA Student Shadower’s Vote Book Award. His other works include GRRRRR!, Sunk!, Kevin and Give Peas a Chance, all of which were nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. He is the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020.

Rob Biddulph commented: “As a proud Londoner, I am thrilled and honoured to be the official illustrator of the fair. I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of booky people (the best kind) and am excited to talk about the importance of illustration in storytelling and maybe do a bit of drawing along the way. The fact that it’s all happening in my hometown is the icing on the cake.”

Rob Biddulph will be attending LBF on Tuesday 10 March, when he will speak at a special ‘In Conversation’ event and take part in a ‘Big Draw’, as part of the Illustrate Your Point programme.

After a series of successful book design events (including three sold out evenings at St Bride Library), designers Ceara Elliot, Jack Smyth and Nico Taylor will be curating a new inclusive book cover themed event for the Book Fair, The Cover Design Wheel of Fortune, where they will use real-life case studies across a variety of publishers to look at various aspects of the cover design process.

Pathways, which launched in 2019 after reports showed under 2% of children’s authors published 2007-2017 were British people of colour (BookTrust Represents] and just 4% of children’s books in 2017 featured BAME characters [CLPE, Reflecting Realities], will host an event about Bridging Sectors To Diversify Children’s Illustration.

The Association of Illustrators’ popular Illustrators’ Masterclass is back, a comprehensive mini Business Masterclass covering all the essential areas for a successful career in illustration, whilst a panel of experts will debate how picture books are reflecting our diverse world and more at the Julian is a Mermaid: How Picture Books and Picture Book Illustration is Broadening Horizons talk, organised by the Klaus Flugge Prize.

During the Illustrators’ Afternoon on Tuesday 10 March, art and creative directors, including Donna Payne (Faber & Faber), Strawberrie Donnelly (Bloomsbury), Lucie Stericker (Orion),

Sophie Stericker (Hachette Children’s), Rebecca Garrill (Andersen Press), Nghiem Ta (Walker Books) and Josie Jo (freelance), will meet illustrators for quick fire appointments to give advice and feedback about their portfolios.

Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair, said “It’s brilliant to be hosting award-winning Rob Biddulph as Illustrator of the Fair, as part of the Illustrate Your Point programme. Watching the programme blossom in its third year with so many fab events and illustrators is a joy, and we are absolutely thrilled the Book Fair is hosting a brand-new event from the book designers behind the sell-out Killed Covers events, as well as welcoming some of the best creative directors in the business for the Illustrators’ Afternoon.’’

Other events include Translating Children’s Picture Books, where the differences in reader expectations for children’s books around the world and the role the translator plays in shaping the story will be explored, and New Formats in Children’s Literature and Picture Book, which will look at how you introduce a brand-new children’s book to readers and foreign markets.

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. Further information can be found here.


  • Pathways: Bridging sectors to diversify children’s illustration

Tuesday 10 March, 10.00 – 11.00: Olympia Room Grand Hall

  • Illustrators’ Masterclass
    Tuesday 10 March, 11.30 – 12.30: Children’s Hub
  • In Conversation with Rob Biddulph, Illustrator of the Fair

Tuesday 10 March, 12.15 – 12.45: Fireside Chat Theatre

  • Illustrators’ Afternoon

Tuesday 10 March, 14.30 – 17.30: Club Room, National Hall Gallery

  • European Picture Books in Translation

Wednesday 10.00 – 11.00: Children’s Hub

  • Translating Children’s Picture Books

Wednesday 11 March, 14.15 – 15.15: Literary Translation Centre

  • The Cover Design Wheel of Fortune

Wednesday 11 March, 14.30 – 15.30: Olympia Room Grand Hall

  • Julian is a Mermaid: How Picture Books and Picture Book Illustration is Broadening Horizons

Wednesday 11 March, 14.30 – 15.30: Children’s Hub

  • New Formats in Children’s Literature and Picture Books

Thursday 12 March, 10:00 – 11.00: Children’s Hub

  • HE is not the only protagonist: Canadian and British publishers talk about how to (and who can) represent every child in illustrated books

Thursday 12 March 10.00 – 11.00: Cross-Cultural Hub

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