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Q and A with Lauren Child

(78 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-Jun-10 13:49:08

We are delighted that award winning author, Lauren Child is joining us on Mumsnet to answer questions from you and your children. Lauren is celebrating 10 Years of Charlie and Lola and an exhibition of original artwork from the original Charlie and Lola picture books runs from 10th June to 1 July at the Illustration Cupboard Gallery in London.
Post a question to Lauren before the end of Sunday 13th June and you will enter a draw to win a signed collector's slip-case edition of I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato which is on sale at the exhibition. Lauren's answers will be linked to from this page by Wednesday 23rd June.

FromGirders Tue 08-Jun-10 13:55:44

Ooh, how exciting! Love Charlie and Lola, even though my two are a little past it now, but we're on to Pippi Longstocking grin.
Lauren, I love your artwork, and have copied you (a little bit) using photos from magazines or that we've taken in the children's collages, and using lots of different styles and textures in the backgrounds. (I'm a CM, we do lots of Big Pictures). It really gives the picture a depth that you can't get with just drawing.
Um, that's it, now question really, just a bit of fawning. I suppose I could ask where you get the inspiration for your artwork, particularly the backgrounds? You could practically copyright the style of heart you do, and the patterns you use on the wallpaper and bedclothes etc (oops, maybe you have already blush).

Francagoestohollywood Tue 08-Jun-10 14:11:49

No questions, but just a big, warm thank you smile

My dc are 6 and 8 and still love Charlie and Lola. And the dvds help them keeping up their English (we are not in the UK anymore)

CaptainNancy Tue 08-Jun-10 14:13:36

Oooooooh... <<marks place>>

edam Tue 08-Jun-10 14:15:46

love Charlie and Lola, thank you so much! Fantastic from an artwork/design point of view as well as the story (I work in magazine publishing).

Is it true that you used to work for Damian Hurst? What was he like? Am imagining some grim Victorian factory owner who uses artists as slaves to churn out 'his' art but that is possibly a tad unfair... grin

And is it right that you use the same technique - having done the original work, you now use other people to do the drawing and writing?

bamboo Tue 08-Jun-10 14:21:35

How exciting smile!

dd and me and her dad would love to know if you have any more Clarice Bean books planned? We love them and have read them many times over

LoveBeing34 Tue 08-Jun-10 14:28:39

Hello, dd and i love charlie and lola.

My question is what advice do you have for someone who has an idea for a children's book?

insertexpletive Tue 08-Jun-10 14:58:16

Hi Lauren

Charlie and Lola are HUGE in my house – the books appeal as much to my three year old son as they do my five year old daughter… not many books in the book shelf have such broad appeal.
I love the fact that Charlie and Lola live in a flat and that they have a diverse group of friends too.

My dc both come out with phrases and language regularly from the books “I will not ever, never…” “I am extremely…” “I am absolutely…” etc, etc.

I am sure you have been asked many times before, but where did you get your inspiration; for plot, characters and language?


Katz Tue 08-Jun-10 15:26:04

Charlie and Lola are loved in our household too, and my girls loved the Lauren Child exhibit which was in the Western Park Museum in Sheffield last year.

Katz Tue 08-Jun-10 15:27:13

meant to ask a question, as part of the exhibit there were charlie and lola dressing ups to play with - are there any plans to bring out dressing up costumes to buy?

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Jun-10 15:37:54

Do you have any control over the merchandise? I would love to see more stuff that is not very pink. DS used to have a blue Charlie snakes and ladder t-shirt and he loved it but all I can find now is pink Lola clothes. Boys like C&L too!

We went to see the play at the weekend and we loved it, DS was totally mesmerised with it.

animula Tue 08-Jun-10 15:57:43

Huge fans here, too. I know it sounds a bit precious, but ds (now 12) read your picture books and asked questions about their post-modern flagging-up of typeface, and materiality, while dd (7) just loves to copy your style.

Which brings me to the question ...

Q: Have you considered doing a child's guide to Art? I can't imagine anyone who'd do it better, and can just see how you would do that, with your cut and paste, semi-ironic but spot-on style. And you are gifted at multi-level entry.

Sorry, I know this post will make everyone's toes curl - but that's what happens if you send your dc to school in E. London. I blame the teachers and the other children ... . grin

And btw, have just bought Clarice Bean for dd and am sooo pleased there's a good female lead ... .

MrsKitty Tue 08-Jun-10 15:57:57

Was going to ask exactly the same as Pfft grin

What play? Where?!

<<goes off to google>>

DramaInPyjamas Tue 08-Jun-10 16:06:55

House full of Charlie & Lola fans here! Can't wait!

etchasketch Tue 08-Jun-10 16:28:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bamboo Tue 08-Jun-10 16:30:27

animula, have you seen this book illustrated by Lauren Child?

I only came across it earlier today on Lauren's website - I'd never heard of it before.

Tootiredforgodtyping Tue 08-Jun-10 16:59:54

I'd like to ask Lauren why she stopped writing Charlie and Lola so quickly, and had them written as a franchise, and was she disappointed from the drop of quality from her original books.

SomeGuy Tue 08-Jun-10 17:14:45

I would echo what Tootired says - the few Charlie and Lola originals are great, could you please write some more, as the TV cash-in books are terrible.

chimchar Tue 08-Jun-10 17:19:07

i saw your exhibition in cardiff museum.

it was fab! it was great to see all of the actual little sets that had been photographed for your various books.

i hadn't realised that you had done so many books!! the story behind and about the pesky rat made me well up.

wanted to say thank you for being so talented!!

would you ever consider writing or illustrating books for teenagers who don't like to read?? your style is so easy and friendly...i know of many who would enjoy your work.


MickyLee Tue 08-Jun-10 17:22:55

Lauren Thank you Thank you Thank you.. due to you my DD speaks wonderfully. She always uses lovely long words. We love your books and the subjects of the stories. In fact i have just read 4 Charlie and Lola books half an hour ago.

SpringHeeledJack Tue 08-Jun-10 17:23:33

Lauren- we leeeeeeerve you. We especially love Clarice Bean

CB was the first book DS ever read For Fun (ie not because I/his teacher was breathing down his neck)

And DD is Clarice Bean. She draws watches on her wrist smile

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Jun-10 17:26:29

MrsKitty - there is a Best Bestest Play touring at the moment, 2D characters controlled by actors - really good. They take a couple of stories, incorporate bits from other stories and use things like bubbles and paper butterflies falling from the ceiling.

OnlyWantsOne Tue 08-Jun-10 18:41:24

My DD and I (DD is called Lola) LOVE Charlie and Lola...

My question is, how did you choose the names for the characters, specifically, Lola...

Missybaby Tue 08-Jun-10 18:54:30

Dear Lauren,

I absolutely LOVE Charlie and Lola and thank you for bringing them into our lives but i have to point out one thing where Charlie and Lola went wrong for us! My little girl always ate everything given to her until one day she watched I will Not Ever Eat a Tomato and she decided that very same day to start saying no to anything that had tomatoes in! So, it might be good for those who are already fussy, but in our case, it changed her into a fussy girl who realised that people can and do say no to food! I've not let my younger daughter watch that episode just in case!

But anyway, to my question: I've always wondered if the voices for Charlie & Lola really are children or if they are adults playing the parts of children and you have either changed their voices using some technical can-do or if they just can speak like that anyway. Also, if they are children, then what happens if they grow up and their voices change??

gothicmama Tue 08-Jun-10 19:04:02

My question is from dd who asks what gave you the idea for all your characters?
DD says thanks for all the pleasure your books have given here,my question is are ther any plans to illustrate any books for an older audience smile

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