I first read Lauren Child thanks to a Clarice Bean book which landed on my desk when I was working for a children’s magazine. From the cover in, I loved it. Of everyone featured here this week, Lauren Child is probably my favourite writer (I’m not prepared to play favourites on the illustration front). Her distinctive voice, as well as the clever typesetting . . . well, let’s just say I swing between being insanely inspired and pig-sick jealous, depending on what day it is.
Despite her instantly-recognisable style, I also have the utmost admiration for the diversity of her books – from funny and ingenious picture books like Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad, Book? to the wordier world of Clarice Bean; from a beautifully illustrated take on Pippi Longstocking to re-telling The Princess and the Pea in art and photographs. When you’re as successful as Lauren Child, it would be all to easy to rest on your laurels or stick to what you know, which makes it all the more inspiring that she’s doing the very opposite.