Posts Tagged Lauren Child

imaginative numbers

After five years, Lauren Child has published a new Charlie and Lola book, One Thing. It’s a book completely full of numbers. She says:

“All language is new for kids, and they talk about it in a different way to adults. They approach numbers in the same way, experimenting, feeling their way towards the right way to use and understand them, and making mistakes along the way, like Lola saying fifty or twenty seventeen ladybirds, for instance.”

She wasn’t a big maths fan until she saw how omnipresent they were in art and music. Now she wants to share the joyousness of numbers.

“Children learn to count almost immediately – it doesn’t have to be right at once. Part of the learning process is the discovery of patterns and experimenting with them.”

I only found out about the book because I saw that Christopher Danielson‘s Which One Doesn’t Belong? A Shapes Book had won this year’s Mathical Prize. And when I visited the site, I saw One Thing.

So, it came last night, and this morning I read it to my class of 5 and 6 year olds. Had them all hooked from the start.

It kicks off with mum saying they can have one thing from the shops. Is that one thing between two? Or one thing each?

Charlie gets his answer from mum, one thing each, and then has to relay it to Lola, who asks the same things.

There’s lots of number and arithmetic symbols in there too, playful, different sized, accompanying each moment in the shopping trip. This first debate has 2  ÷ 2 = 1. My class haven’t seen  ÷ before with me, but this seems like the perfect relaxed way to meet it first (very different to my own experience).

It really hit the spot for my class. One girl who doesn’t usually light up with maths, was really responsive to this book. Made me think we need more like this!

Counting the different kinds of birds

My class loved this page. I had to read Lola’s counting three times.

talking about big numbersIt

a subtraction story with st


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“I have this little sister Lola…”



“…she is small and very funny.”

Weep adults! You grew up before this most amazingly wonderful brother and sister, Charlie and Lola burst onto the bookshelves, TV screen, computer screen, eardrums, and whatever other surface you might have available.

We read Lauren Child’s books first… ( I think “I will not ever never eat a tomato” in which Charlie gets the very picky Lola to eat by saying the peas are green drops from Greenland and so on).

Then Charlie and Lola came on TV… then more books… and oh the merchandising (normally a bad word, but let the cards, party gear, whatever flow – it is all made good by association)…

What is so good? Where do I start? I of course like it that it all happens in the sort of London I lived in. I love Lauren Child’s art work – photos, collage, kids drawings, mixed up deliciously brightly colourfully. I love Lola – she is so… so… individual, so creative, so stubborn! I love too the way Charlie is with Lola – the sort of indulgent, appreciative big brother that probably doesn’t come along very often. I love the way the stories deal with such real things for that age, with such a light but sure touch…

Lauren Child’s website:

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