Lauren ChildMBE (born 1965) is an English author and illustrator. She is best known for the Charlie and Lolapicture books and the Clarice Bean series of picture books and novels.
Child introduced Charlie and Lola in 2000 with I will not ever Never eat a tomato and won the annual Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association for the year's most "distinguished illustration in a book for children". For the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005), it was named one of the top ten winning works, selected by a panel to compose the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite.
Helen Child was born in 1965, the middle child of three daughters. She later changed her first name to Lauren. She attended St John's School and from 16, Marlborough College, where her father was Head of Art. She studied Art briefly at Manchester Polytechnic and later at City and Guilds of London Art School, after which she worked in a variety of jobs, including as a painting assistant to Damien Hirst. She also started her own company, Chandeliers for the People, making exotic lampshades together with the actor Andrew St Clair; it was not a commercial success, though the lampshades are instantly recognisable as Child's work and highly valued. Between 1998 and 2003 she worked for the design agency Big Fish.
Two picture books both written and illustrated by Child were published in 1999, and also issued in the U.S. within the year:I Want a Pet! and Clarice Bean, That's Me. The latter, published by Orchard Books, inaugurated the Clarice Bean series, was a highly commended runner up for the Greenaway Medal,[a] and made the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize shortlist. Next year she won the Greenaway Medal the first Charlie and Lola book, I Will Not Ever, NEVER Eat a Tomato. Her timing was good, for a bequest by Colin Mears had provided a £5000 cash prize to supplement the medal beginning that year. She won a second Smarties Prize in 2002 for That Pesky Rat, which was commended for the Greenaway too.[a] In the same year she wrote her first children's novel, Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, one of 39 books nominated by the librarians for the Carnegie Medal in Literature. Her second novel in this series, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble was shortlisted for the 2005 British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year. The third novel, Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now was published in 2006.
Child's humorous illustrations contain many different media including magazine cuttings, collage, material and photography as well as traditional watercolours. As well as being author of several highly successful books, she is the illustrator of the Definitely Daisy series by Jenny Oldfield.
A television series based on her Charlie and Lola books was made by Tiger Aspect for Disney/Cbeebies, on which Child was an Executive Producer. Three series of 26 episodes were made and two specials. A number of spin off books are available based on the scripts of the TV shows, though these were not written or illustrated by Child.Charlie and Lola has been sold throughout the world, and has won many prizes, including BAFTAs in 2007 for Best children's Television Show and Best Script.
Charlie and Lola is a series of picture books made by Lauren Child and now is a children's TV show. Each half-hour format show contains two segments with different plots, each starting off with Charlie saying, "I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny."
Clarice Bean is also a picture book and novel series by Lauren Child that is for children/young teenagers. Her full name is Clarice Bean Tuesday. She is best friends with Betty P Moody, and Karl Wrenbury is another friend of hers. Clarice Bean is a fan of a book series called Ruby Redfort (Lauren Child is writing a series for Ruby Redfort , started in 2011 ), enemies with Grace Grapello and Mrs Wilberton (her teacher) and is a not a very good speller and she day-dreams a lot. Her family consists of her mum, dad, younger brother Minal Cricket, older sister Marcie, her even older brother Kurt, her grandad and her granny who lives in America and who phones regularly. Those books are:
In 2009 Lauren signed a new six book deal with HarperCollins for the release of her Ruby Redfort series. Ruby Redfort, undercover agent and mystery solver, is familiar to Lauren's readers as Clarice Bean's favourite literary character.
Ruby is a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl. She and her slick side-kick butler, Hitch, foil crimes and get into loads of scrapes with evil villains, but they’re always ice-cool in a crisis.
The first book in the series, Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes was released in September 2011 in hard back, with the paper back to be released in July 2012.
The secret codes used in the book were developed by Lauren and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy.
Child was the cover artist for all three volumes and the author of at least the first volume's introduction.
Child was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.
She has won two major British children's book awards.
Furthermore, both What Planet Are You From Clarice Bean? (2001) and That Pesky Rat won the Smarties Prize "Kids' Club Network Special Award".
Her work as author or illustrator has been recognised many other times.