Postbox Honour for Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams

Published Thu 4 Mar 2021 - By Literature Wales
(L to R) The postboxes in Cardiff, Belfast and Oban.

Literature Wales is delighted that Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams, has been selected as one of five children’s authors to receive a postbox honour as part of Royal Mail’s World Book Day activities.

To mark World Book Day 2021 (Thursday 4 March), Royal Mail has unveiled five special postboxes across the UK, honouring authors and illustrators who have been doing wonderful work using literature to help keep children entertained during lockdown – one of which is our own Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams.

The postboxes each have their own unique design which celebrates the work of the authors and illustrators. They are located across the UK in London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Belfast and Oban, close to places of significance to either the writers or their work and will be decorated for a month.

Each postbox is digitally activated, containing a QR code linking through to the free services offered by the author it celebrates, for example a YouTube channel offering free online readings, or writing challenges for children.

Eloise’s postbox can be found on St John Street, in Cardiff central (CF10 1GN) and is decorated in striking navy and gold, inspired by her much-loved novel, Gaslight (Firefly, 2017). The postbox displays a QR code, directing passers-by to this Literature Wales webpage, showcasing all the work Eloise has been doing since March 2020 to continue to inspire Wales’ children, including setting weekly writing challenges, sharing digital writing workshops and more.

The other authors and postboxes include:

  • Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author-illustrator of How To Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once. Her postbox, lavishly decorated with Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, and with gold trim, is located in Oban, Scotland, where ferries depart to the west coast islands.
  • Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, Waterstones Children’s Book Of The Year winners 2020. Nathan and Dapo’s “utterly joyful” book about a science-mad young black girl trying to distract her brother from his phone actively looks to challenge perceptions around race and gender. The bright yellow postbox is in Shepherd’s Bush in London, where Nathan Bryon was born.
  • Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. The striking yellow parcel postbox gives a beautifully designed nod to Lydia and Julia’s work, in particular their recent ‘What The Ladybird Heard’ series of books. This postbox is located in Sheffield, where Lydia Monks lives.
  • Sam McBratney, author of Guess How Much I Love You. The author of one of the most beloved modern children’s books, Northern Irish writer Sam McBratney very sadly passed away last year. Royal Mail hopes that the beautiful cream postbox in Sam’s birthplace of Belfast is a fitting tribute to his legacy.

Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail said: “It is without a shadow of a doubt that the UK is home to some of the world’s best children’s authors, and it is heart-warming to see how so many have been focused on keeping the magic of literature alive for children during lockdown. As one of the guardians of the written word, Royal Mail relishes the opportunity to celebrate some of Britain’s most treasured writers during these unprecedented times, so it seems only fitting that their amazing work is honoured on some of our iconic postboxes.”

Eloise Williams said: “I am absolutely delighted to have this very special postbox unveiled in Cardiff on World Book Day. The author community in Wales has really risen to the challenge of supporting young people during the past year and I am proud to have played a small part in that. To see how children have engaged with the Children’s Laureate Wales’ writing activities has been wonderful.

Creativity has never been so important. It has a proven positive impact on well-being and mental health and gives young people a voice and a way to express themselves. I hope the Children’s Laureate Wales’ activities have enabled young people to be playful, creative and imaginative.”

If you happen to be passing Eloise’s postbox on St John’s Street, send us your pictures by tagging @Laureate_Wales or @LitWales on Twitter; or find Literature Wales on Facebook or Instagram.