Lauren Child was born Helen Child in 1965, and is a children’s author and illustrator, best known for the Charlie and Lola picture books and the Clarice Bean series of picture books and novels. She has also written the children’s series Ruby Redfort. She grew up in Marlborough in Wiltshire, and studied art briefly at Manchester Polytechnic and later at London Art School, after which she worked in a variety of jobs, including being 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.
She wrote her first children’s novel, Utterly Me, Clarice Bean in 1999. Her second book in this series, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble, was shortlisted for the 2005 British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year. The third novel in the series, Clarice Bean Don’t Look Now, was published in 2006.
Lauren Child’s humorous illustrations contain many different mediums, including magazine cuttings, collage, material, and photography, as well as traditional watercolours. A television series based on her Charlie and Lola books was made by Tiger Aspect for Disney/CBBC, for which Child was an Executive Producer. 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. She began writing a series familiar to Clarice Bean readers in 2009: the Ruby Redfort series, based on Clarice Bean’s favourite literary character.