Green Drops and Moonsquirters: The Utterly Imaginative World of Lauren Child

Wednesday 5th March 2008

21 June - 21 September 2008. Free entry. Manchester Art Gallery launches a major new exhibition this summer dedicated to the work of award-winning children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child. Child's best-selling books have been captivating children and their parents for almost 10 years. They include the hugely successful Charlie and Lola (who have gone on to become the stars of a CBBC and Disney Playhouse television series) as well as Clarice Bean, That Pesky Rat and Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent.

Green Drops and Moonsquirters is the first ever exhibition to bring Lauren Child’s popular books to life. Displays are based on illustrations, characters and themes from all her books and are fully interactive. They combine original illustrations with fun and engaging hands-on activities for under 7s and their families.

Visitors are invited to literally step into the world of Child’s books. Playhouses based around her most popular characters encourage families to explore and play. They can:

  • Sit at Charlie and Lola’s kitchen table and make meals with food from their fridge.
  • Dress-up in Charlie and Lola’s favourite outfits including Lola’s fabulous alligator costume from I Am TOO Absolutely Small For School.
  • Draw imaginary friends on a magna-doodle (inspired by Lola’s friend Soren Lorensen).
  • Visit Grubby Alley where That Pesky Rat lives.
  • Perform puppet shows to an audience of family and friends (in a theatre created from the four-poster bed in The Princess and The Pea).

Lauren Child studied art in Manchester and she worked as an artist’s assistant for Damien Hirst before embarking on her career in children’s literature. Her illustrations artfully combine drawing, collage and photography while witty and irreverent text weaves through the pages in unconventional ways. This brand new exhibition features over thirty original illustrations from Child’s books. A selection of 3D sets and dolls house furniture created for The Princess and the Pea are also on display.

Curated and developed by Manchester Art Gallery, the free exhibition will premiere at the gallery from 21 June until 21 September 2008 before touring to museums and galleries around the UK.

A family-friendly programme of free events and activities runs alongside the exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon throughout the summer holidays (from Wednesday 30 July to Friday 29 August, 1 – 3pm). For further details, please visit

Councillor Michael Amesbury, Executive Member for Arts & Leisure comments:
“This free exhibition is going to be a real highlight of the summer in the North West. It will be a great opportunity for families to explore Lauren Child’s illustrations and books together. I’m also delighted that this home-grown exhibition will go on to visit venues around the UK – ensuring it will be enjoyed by even more people across the country.”


An exclusive press view of the exhibition will be held on Friday 20 June. For further information about the exhibition, for images and to attend the press view please contact Kate Jones or Sarah Marsh at Fido PR. Tel: 0161 274 3311 Email: or

Notes to editors
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL
Tel: 0161 235 8888 Fax: 0161 235 8899 Textphone: 0161 235 8893

Open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am – 5pm
Closed Monday, except Bank Holidays.
Free Admission.

Green Drops and Moonsquirters: The Utterly Imaginative World of Lauren Child is supported by the Arts Council England.

Lauren Child biography is available on request
Images available on request.

Fast facts on Lauren:

  • Clarice Bean, That’s Me was first published in 1999 by Orchard.
  • In 2005, her top-selling Charlie and Lola series aired on CBeebies for the first time.
  • Her artistic inspirations include Quentin Blake and Snoopy!
  • Lauren Child is currently working in partnership with UNESCO. She visited Mexico in 2007 and is returning again in 2008 to work with young orphans and street children – using the common language of drawing to give them confidence. That Pesky Rat is due to be relaunched this summer with all profits going to UNESCO’s campaign My life is a story.
  • The exhibition title comes from I Will Not Ever NEVER Eat A Tomato in which Charlie tries to get his fussy sister Lola to eat by pretending that foodstuffs like peas and tomatos are exotic delicacies like incredibly rare green drops and moonsquirters.

Prizes and awards

  • 1999 Kate Greenaway Medal (Highly Commended) Clarice Bean, That's Me
  • 1999 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze award) Clarice Bean, That's Me
  • 2000 Kate Greenaway Medal (shortlist) Beware of the Storybook Wolves
  • 2000 Kate Greenaway Medal I Will Not Ever, NEVER Eat A Tomato
  • 2000 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze award) Beware of the Storybook Wolves 
  • 2002 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize That Pesky Rat
  • 2005 British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year (shortlist) Clarice Bean Spells Trouble
  • 2005 Red House Children's Book Award (shortlist Younger Readers category) Clarice Bean Spells Trouble

Exhibition tour dates

Following its launch at Manchester Art Gallery, the exhibition will tour to:

Museums Sheffield: Weston Park 4 October 2008 – 15 February 2009
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery 28 February 2009 – 26 April 2009
Aberdeen Art Gallery 13 June 2009 – 22 August 2009
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull 5 September 2009 – 8 November 2009
National Museum Cardiff 21 November 2009 – 24 January 2010
Seven Stories, The Centre for Children’s
Books, Newcastle 4 February 2010 – 19 September 2010