Monday, September 12, 2016

Charlie and Lola do Simple Sums
One Thing, Lauren Child
Charlie and Lola books and shows are hit and miss with me.  When they hit the mark, I genuinely laugh out loud!  When they miss, I close them after flicking through a few pages.  These are quite extremely truly completely different responses (*wink*).  The key to one's success with me, is whether or not it's poor role modelling.  Lola is a delightful character.  Charlie is a champion!  But sometimes their stories devolve into the mode of what I call "Tantrums Books" (albeit with less pastiche and more spunk than the average tantrum book).  I don't buy Tantrum Books.  I don't keep them when I'm given them.  It's not that I deny tantrums happen, I just don't think they're worth reading books about.  I do like when a book illustrates how a great character can overcome something, but it's hard to get the balance on the overcoming right.  Too often the shared challenge trumps as validation.  Lola's rebellions are admittedly more charming than the average tantrum, but they're still on my undesirables list.  A book 95% dedicated to cleverly explaining why a child will not consume tomatoes? ...with a small fraction of "lesson learned" tacked on after all the funny bits?  Not something I need in our family library -- I don't need any sort of script supplied to toddlers I'm encouraging to be adventurous at mealtime.  Similarly I won't collect books supplying reasons to not go to bed or why teeth must not fall out.  There are more great Charlie and Lola books than those I pass on.  And of those I've read, this has been one of my absolute favourites!  It is SO funny and true to their characters AND it is accessibly educational.  I LOVE it.  All three of my girls found it funny (currently 3, 5 and 7 years of age) and I laughed out loud more than once.  Winner.

Released as a hardback last year, available this October as a very-affordable-why-wouldn't-you paperback.  If your kids are fans, you can safely wishlist this one as one of Child's best.

Review copy received from Hachette.
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