The first time I came in contact with the author/illustrator Lauren Child, my gut reaction said, "now this is someone who knows kids". Her illustrations of Charlie & Lola books, along with other stand-alone stories are perfectly scruffy, collaged pictures and spiral writing mixed together to form a child-like representation. I truly mean that in the best way. They are chalk full of whimsy.
You may recognize the video above as the popular British children's TV show, but let me tell you, they're books, too, with just as much charm, if not more. (I'll let you in on a little secret, too: if you read them with a British cockney accent, they are "terribly funner to read", as Lola might say.)
Lauren child has plenty of books (even a Pippi Longstocking take!), but my favorites are the Charlie and Lola series. Charlie is usually seen figuring out a problem (or phobia) of Lola's, his little sister, and then near the end, her finding her confidence. That may be going to school for the first time, or trying to never eat a tomato. The way Lola speaks, and her cheeky invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, are quite a pair for patient Charlie.
Here are the Charlie & Lola bunch:
*I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato
*I Am Absolutely Too Small for School
*I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed
Of course, there are loads of episodes of Charlie & Lola cartoons that can be found at the library, on youtube, etc. I find the cartoons quite good, too. Although they are very colorful and bright, they aren't overly stimulating, fast, or obnoxious, and I find the relationship between Charlie and his little sister, Lola, sweet.