Uninhibited musical improv comes naturally to young children. They just need some musical stuff to play with. Not necessarily instruments: musical elements, skills, tunes, lyrics and ideas that come from musical experience in or out of classes often resurface in free musical play at home. I love the recordings that parents show me of children singing, dancing and playing percussion, wherever, whenever and with whatever they like… in a high chair or on the potty, putting their toys to bed or teaching them new songs, rearranging lunch or taking eggs from the fridge to see if they make a noise when you shake them… Lauren Child champions children’s free creative play and has captured it beautifully in her Charlie and Lola stories.
The new Children’s Laureate
Lauren Child has just been made the 10th Children’s Laureate. She is the British illustrator, writer and creator of the beloved childrens’ characters Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. This happy news gives me a reason to enjoy their stories all over again. I’d especially recommend Charlie and Lola to anyone with small children in their life.
Lola enchants and exasperates her loving big brother Charlie in a collection of beautiful, funny and touching picture books and TV series. The original stories include titles such as I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, I Am Not Sleepy And I Will Not Go To Bed, I Am Too Absolutely Small for School. Charlie and Lola work their way through everyday dramas together with quirky and irrepressible creativity. Their imaginative style is pretty catching and lightens the daily theatricals of family life no end.
Charlie and Lola’s musical play
I Want to Play Music Too has Charlie and his friend Marv composing music for the story of the universe. They are about to perform it at school and take it pretty seriously. Lola wants to join in but can’t. Together Charlie and Lola imagine and invent instruments for Lola to play at home. On the big day, Marv is unwell. Lola steps up and saves Charlie’s performance with her box of musical tricks. Although there’s no singing in it there is plenty of happy musical invention and homemade sound effects. And they love it. I still have the watched and scratched DVD but you can also find it as Series 1 Episode 22 on the “Charlie and Lola Official YouTube Channel” .