Lauren Child is a force for good in the universe. Her books for children and especially her Charlie and Lola series are humane, intelligent and very, very funny. Charlie is the patient older brother of an imaginative and slightly naughty younger sister, Lola, who goes to school, has adventures and plays with her best friend Lotta and her imaginary friend Soren Lorenson. I'm thinking about Child because my kids love her stuff and there's a nice interview with her in today's Guardian. There's also a brand new Charlie and Lola story from Ms Child, about Lola going slightly invisible in The Guardian, here.
The BBC series Charlie and Lola (above, right) captures much of the books' magic and has the added benefit of excellent voice work from young actors who are so good it takes me back to the amazing stuff those kids used to do on the Charlie Brown specials. (The boy (boys?) who played Linus always used to crack me up.) I'm glad the girl who plays Lola on the BBC series is not my daughter, because really there's only so much adorableness that a man can take.