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Famous for the children’s books The Snowman and Fungus the Bogeyman, the writer and illustrator Raymond Briggs has received the BookTrust 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for his ‘outstanding’ contribution to children’s literature.
Raymond Briggs has bewitched children around the world with his tales about a flying snowman, Father Christmas, Ug, The Bear and When the Wind Blows. The artist's books resulted in many of his memorable characters being brought to life in animated films.
Born in 1934 in Wimbledon, Raymond Briggs even turned his parents’ lives together into a graphic novel for adults.
In Ethel and Ernest, he depicted his father Ernest, a milkman, and mum Ethel, a housewife, in a bittersweet tale that charted the poignant twists and turns of their lives through the years. From the first time they met in 1928, to the day that they died and everything in between, the graphic novel included his parents' heart-breaking struggles during wartime Britain and was adapted in 2016 into a film animation. Raymond Briggs said: “It’s lovely to be given an award for all my life achievements.
“Drawing, telling stories and sharing these adventures is something I’ve always been passionate about. Being awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is an incredible honour and I’m so glad I’ve been able to make such an impression on people.”
Raymond Briggs was fascinated by cartooning from an early age and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. He briefly studied painting before becoming a professional illustrator, winning numerous honours for his children’s books, including the Kate Greenaway Award for his Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme collection.
The author was selected for award by six judges including the current Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, author and illustrator Cressida Cowell and the human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti.
Shami Chakrabarti said: "Raymond is a true artistic genius who has touched the hearts of millions of children of all ages.
“They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and his particular style of illustration is unmistakable as are his understated and poignant words of narrative and dialogue.
"His talent expresses his values and with his choice and treatment of subjects he brings our history and contemporary challenges to life."
The BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the body of work of an author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to children's literature.
The first winner was Shirley Hughes, author of Dogger and the Alfie series, whilst Judith Kerr was awarded the accolade in 2016.