"In a move that could lead to some fascinating repercussions, the celebrated literary title of children's laureate is to be rebranded with a commercial sponsor.
"Mandrake learns that when the successor to Anthony Browne is announced in June, the holder of the post will be known as the Waterstone's Children's Laureate.
"Needs must, says Kate Bostock, the secretary of the Children's Book Group at the Publishers Association. We want the laureate. The financial situation's difficult and we're very grateful to Waterstone's.
"The post was created after a conversation between Ted Hughes, the then poet laureate, and Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse. The name change has alarmed many in the book world. One senior children's publisher says: A lot of publishers think it takes away from the authority of the role."