Michael Berkeley's guest is the best-selling author, illustrator and Children's Laureate Lauren Child.
Michael Berkeley's guest is the best-selling author, illustrator, and Children's Laureate Lauren Child.
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato; I Am Too Absolutely Small for School; I Am Not Sleepy and Will Not Go to Bed - these are just three of Lauren Child's bestselling, funny and touching picture books for young children. Her big-eyed characters such as Charlie and Lola, and Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent, capture the way children negotiate the small but significant challenges of family life, school and growing up. And they're illustrated with Lauren's trademark collages of her drawings and paintings, magazine cuttings, fabrics and photographs.
But she writes for older children too - novels featuring the feisty Clarice Bean and, most recently, Ruby Redfort, who has to juggle her mundane life at school with being a top international secret agent and expert code-breaker.
The winner of numerous awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal and multiple Smarties Prizes, Lauren Child has been Britain's Children's Laureate since 2017.
In conversation with Michael Berkeley, Lauren talks about the struggle she faced in her twenties to find direction in life, the challenge and joy of adopting her daughter from Mongolia, and why she can't work unless she's feeling melancholy. She chooses a Mongolian long song for her daughter; music by Satie that conjures up her own childhood; and music by Puccini and Vivaldi used in films that had a huge impact on the development of her imagination.
Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.