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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.

MrsKitty Tue 08-Jun-10 19:47:01

missybaby According to the Lauren Child exhibition (which I also saw in Cardiff, Chimchar <<waves>>) the voices are actually children, which I think is pretty great.

Thanks for info pfft have emailed the production company to see if they'll be coming over to South Wales at all <<crossing fingers>>

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Jun-10 19:52:14

Missy - they are children, Lola seems to change voice actors more often than Charlie - she has been played by sisters as well. The girl who does Lotta also does a bird on 3rd and Bird!

MrsKitty Tue 08-Jun-10 19:57:32

OOh - I knew I recognised that voice from somewhere - Lotta must be Rudy on 3rd&Bird?

CoupleofKooks Tue 08-Jun-10 20:07:48

Hello Lauren, I just wanted to say that I love the way your fairytale heroines are often brunettes. After the total Disneyfication of these stories, it seems quite subversive to have a dark-haired Cinderella!

I think our favourite is Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Which is your favourite out of all your books?

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Jun-10 20:26:01

Yes Kitty I think so.

babster Tue 08-Jun-10 20:30:38

My eldest adores Clarice Bean and named two of our chickens Clarice and Betty She would like to know, why did you name the dog Cement?

MummynotMammy Tue 08-Jun-10 20:39:26

I love your exhibition at Seven Stories in Newcastle. My 4 year old loves dressing up as Lola in the dressy up clothes that they have!

My questions are regarding a comment in the exhibition about the children who voice the characters. You said you didn't want to use actors, and auditioned hundreds before choosing Maisy (i think) for Lola. she was obviously very young. how does she learn the lines? does it need dozens of "takes"? what did you do as she got older and her voice changed?

VerityBrulee Tue 08-Jun-10 20:51:43

Lauren, you have been an inspiration to me wink

Sidge Tue 08-Jun-10 20:56:25

I just want to add my voice, we love the Charlie and Lola books here - I have 3 girls and they all enjoy the stories and illustrations, even DD1 who's 11!!

We also have the fabulous 'My Uncle is a Hunkle' which I love.

I'd like to ask - are parents deliberately AWOL in your books? Is there a reason for this? Does it make the characters more independent and so capable of more creative play and socialisation?

pixierara Tue 08-Jun-10 21:11:42

ooooohhhh - I am so extremely happy that you are coming to answer our questions!!!! We are all MASSIVE fans (none more so than me)

Who/what inspires you?
Who is your favourite character and why?

ChippyMinton Tue 08-Jun-10 22:29:00


DD(6) and I are reading your illustrated version of Pippi Longstocking at the moment. Pippi was my hero when I was younger, and I thrilled to introduce her to DD with your gorgeous artwork. DD would like to know if you have plans to illustrate any more of the Pippi books?

venetianred Tue 08-Jun-10 22:32:54

My daughter and I are both crazy about Charlie and Lola, and now we have 'The Big Bad Book' which is just oozing creativity and fabulousness. Thank you Lauren. I went to the exhibition (in Manchester) and saw that you had to sleep on your friends sofas until you made it big - hats off to your lovely friends.

My daughter (4 yrs) is Lola personified and we often say that she is having a 'lola moment'...and she replies 'I am not Lola' in just the same way that Lola would have.

I too feel that the 'I won't eat a Tomato' book, sadly did more harm than good, but otherwise your stories are just overflowing with mind expanding ideas, and good ideas for me about new games etc.

Just this afternoon we saw the one about 'Games for Wet Days' and I think I will do some things like that next winter.

You should put together a wonderful game or two. I think they would be FAR more exciting than some of the 'oh dear how tragically dull' games by Disney.

Many thanks.

BertieBotts Wed 09-Jun-10 00:57:56

What we really want to know, is what are Charlie and Lola's mum and dad like? We had a loooong thread about it on here a while ago - does anyone else remember it? grin

Francagoestohollywood Wed 09-Jun-10 08:43:20

I remember that thread BertieBotts!

Parents being AWOL is fairly typical of cartoons, Charlie Brown springs to mind, and yet we've developed a morbid curiosity for charlie and lola parents (and the grandparents) smile.
We want to know if they wear Birkies.

animula Wed 09-Jun-10 10:04:24

bamboo - thank you. smile No, I hadn't come across it - will do some tracking down now.

YunoYurbubson Wed 09-Jun-10 10:50:58

4yo dd says "Hello Lauren, do you like tomatoes?"

Also, I loved 'Who Wants to be a Poodle' and dd loves 'reading' it to herself.

thecatatemygymsuit Wed 09-Jun-10 11:43:21

Gorgeous books!
3 year old dd is a big fan of Charlie and Lola and I especially love the illustrations.
I wonder if you were subliminally influenced by Mary, Mungo and Midge, as the flat C&L live in reminds me of their groovy 70's apartment block?

mogmum Wed 09-Jun-10 12:59:44

My dd who is 6 loves Charlie and Lola and has just recently discovered Clarice Bean and loves Herb.
To be honest dh and I are also fans as well so would love this chance to say thank-you

domesticslattern Wed 09-Jun-10 15:42:00

Lauren, we love your books in the slattern household. Thank you for writing them, they have brought us much happiness.

However, I have one MAJOR gripe which is that my DD (2.5), who worships Lola above all things, frequently will not do anything until we telephone two dancing dogs to ask their permission.

So, my question is, how do you feel about the fact that up and down the country parents are wrestling with small children who now will not eat tomatoes or who are not sleepy and who will not go to bed etc. because of your books? Can you hear the wailing up and down the country? grin Please can you write some with a fantastically compliant and non-questioning and obedient Lola in? smile smile That would distinctly help me. Thank you.

Missybaby Wed 09-Jun-10 18:54:17

So glad I am not the only one with the Tomato Problem! grin

And thanks MrsKitty & PtMagicDragon for info re. the voices smile

charlieandlola Wed 09-Jun-10 18:59:43

OOh,lots of people on here saying they love me !


can you tell from my MN name that I am a fan?
Loved the exhibition when it came to Cardiff - seeingn the fabric was the best bit for me, and the real life kitchen <swoon>

What is your favourite biscuit ?

teafortwo Wed 09-Jun-10 22:31:00

"Do you like pink milk?"

Big kisses from my daughter, Milk (aged 4 yrs 1 month)

Italiangreyhound Thu 10-Jun-10 01:40:34

I really enjoy the series on TV, espically Marv and Lotta. I am an aspiring children's writer with ideas for a TV series and children's books. I have tried to get an agent, tried to find a publisher ....and then tried some more. I know your work is lovely and maybe that is the secret of your success but how do you get your foot in the door of children's writing; any tips, please?

frigatebird Thu 10-Jun-10 13:39:00

Hello Lauren, DH's friend wants to know, is it true that you signed an appallingly one-sided deal on the franchising and licensing of Charlie and Lola and so didn't make much cash out of it? Cos by rights you ought to be a squillionaire, if only based on the amount of Charlie and Lola products, books, DVDs, clothing, toys etc in our household alone.

Sorry if this is a rude question. There's so many issues around writers and artists and the ££££ in the world of children's licensing. So I was just wondering...

[BTW My MIL is a children's writer who also Didn't Make As Much Money As She Might Have have due to signing crappy deals]

thereistheball Thu 10-Jun-10 14:23:11

Hello Lauren. We love Charlie and Lola, and drink pink milk as a special treat (I did buy food colouring but DD seems just as happy with a pink cup).

DD had a similar reaction to tomatoes as missybaby's after seeing I Will Not Ever... though it doesn't sound quite as extreme. My question is, to what extent are your books written for parents/with parents in mind?

Looking forward to introducing Clarice Bean soon...

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