Lauren Child grew up in Marlborough, Wiltshire. She is the middle of three sisters and both her parents are teachers. She went to Art School in Manchester and London and has had a variety of jobs from waitressing to designing exotic, elegant lampshades and working as an artist's assistant to Damien Hirst. Lauren Child is probably THE most talented, funny and individual picture book author/illustrator today. She burst on to the children's book scene in 1999 with two picture books, I Want a Pet and Clarice Bean - That's Me. Her fresh and funny books were an instant hit. In 2000 Lauren won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato and in 2002 That Pesky Rat won the Gold Smarties Award. Lauren also published her first novel in the same year, Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, which was a runaway success and has been sold in ten foreign editions. A second novel, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble was published in 2004. Quentin Blake selected Lauren for inclusion in the Magic Pencil Exhibition (British Library), a gathering of the very best of current British children's illustrators, including Tony Ross, Angela Barrett and Raymond Briggs. October 2005 saw the UK launch of the 26-part animated series CHARLIE & LOLA on CBBC, produced by Tiger Aspect, which won the children's BAFTA in 2007. Lauren has always been keen on children's TV, especially the American shows from the 60s and 70s and is still inspired by them. She loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees starring Cary Grant, Alastair Cooke's letter from America, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport. She enjoys looking round people's houses whether public or private and since childhood has been passionate about dolls' houses. This passion has inspired Lauren's retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea on which she has worked with photographer, Polly Borland.