Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Something Utterly Inspiring

My daughter attended her annual book fair at school this week.  Among the books she wanted me to buy for her was Clarice Bean, That’s Me by Lauren Child. I was happy to do so, since Lauren Child is one of my heros.

Best known for creating the hilarious Charlie and Lola in addition to the Clarice Bean series, Lauren Child is an award-winning author and illustrator from England. Her body of work includes many other equally funny and creative books that I adore, such as her brilliant retelling of  The Princess and the Pea and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She uses mixed media, combining endearing child-like sketches with collage and photos in a totally unique yet instantly recognizable style. As Lola might say, “I am an absolutely hugely enormous and big fan.”

So when I opened up Clarice Bean, That’s Me, I was particularly struck – and inspired – by the inside flap copy.

For anyone who ever loses faith that they might yet get their children’s book published one day, here’s a little gift from Lauren Child (in as close to her font/style as I could capture):

A word or two from Lauren Child about this actual Clarice Bean book…

This book was sent to lots of PUBLISHERS
Some people liked the words
Some people liked the pictures
Not many people liked them both together
Hardly anyone liked the t y p e
A few thought it shouldn’t be written from a child’s point of view
No one thought it would work as a book
the way it was
I DIDN’T WANT TO CHANGE IT

I waited for five years

I STARTED MAKING LAMPSHADES

I MIXED PAINTS FOR AN ARTIST

I BECAME A RECEPTIONIST

NOTHING happened. . .

F  i  n  a  l  l  y   I got a letter
It said, Yes
I still have it
It was one of the most exciting things
that has ever happened to me


(For more on Lauren, visit her wonderful website: www.milkmonitor.com)

Comments

4 Responses to “Something Utterly Inspiring”
  1. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Emma, Lauren’s jacket flap testimony is utterly cool and inspiring. What wonderful self-confidence (no doubt laced with huge moments of self-doubt too) that she should keep at it, uncompromisingly, for 5 years, “knowing” she had a winner- and it is a winning style. I don’t know Charlie and Lola, but as an adult I lough out loud at Clarice Bean’s crazy, chaotic family.

  2. Beth says:

    I have this book waiting on my bookshelf for me to get to it — there are so many picture books that grab my attention! I gave it a quick read when I bought it, but I am looking forward to really doing it justice and reading it much more consciously.

    I love the inside flap copy — inspiring indeed.

    I also like Lauren Child’s “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book”.

    It delights me to imagine your daughter eagerly flitting from one book to another like an excited butterfly flitting from flower to flower in a vast blooming garden, wanting to read everything at once. (I hope that picture is accurate!)

  3. Patricia Tilton says:

    Thanks Emma. It is a gift! Very inspiring — and even more exciting that she included the comments in the jacket flap. She really believed in herself, her book and knew that one day it would find its time.

  4. Diane says:

    That was really cool. Loved that she shared her unique thoughts in the jacket flap. Good for her is all I can say. Just the kind of inspiration we need. Thanks Emma.

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