'Laureate's Progress' begins in May 1999 with a telephone call. It is from Lois Beeson, administrator of the Children's Laureate scheme, to Quentin Blake, informing him that he has been appointed the first ever Children's Laureate.
This telephone call sets in motion the two years of Quentin Blake's tenure. As Children's Laureate, Blake acts as an ambassador for the world of children's books; he delivers lectures and gives interviews; presents prizes and provides illustrations; he experiences a drive in a police car; and he becomes involved in drawing campaigns and curates a major exhibition at the National Gallery.
Alongside these activities are many other projects. There is a book, 'The Laureate's Party', celebrating fifty favourite children's books, and another, 'Words And Pictures', looking at the challenges and opportunities of illustration. There are further delicious adventures to be had with Roald Dahl's 'Even More Revolting Recipes'; there is a project from America ('Wizzil', by the great William Steig); and there is a challenge from France, in which Quentin Blake is to illustrate the ideas of some 1,800 schoolchildren. And there are other books besides . . .
A fascinating account of this most significant of roles, 'Laureate's Progress' is also an illuminating glimpse into the life and work of one of our greatest author-illustrators.