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ENTER THE WHIMSICAL WORLD OF LAUREN CHILD
on June 7, 2005
Lauren Child strikes again with another witty and wonderful read-aloud. In the same way Charlie and his little sister Lola endeared themselves to fans of I WILL NEVER NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO, parents and kids alike will delight in this comical plot.
Drama arises when Lola is not convinced she needs to go to school. "I probably do not have time to go to school," she says. "I am too extremely busy doing important things at home." Instead of ridiculing her, big brother Charlie takes the time to tackle her fanciful excuses with his own inventive scenarios.
When Lola says she doesn't care to learn to count above ten, Charlie replies, "What if eleven eager elephants all wanted a treat. How would you count up how many treats that would be?" Lola's still not quite sure.
She doesn't need to learn to read, she says, because "I've got all my books in my head." Again, Charlie counters with the possibility that she may HAVE to read a bedtime story sometime to an ever-so-angry ogre who won't go away unless she does.
Page after page, the textured illustrations and vibrant narrative technique are pure delight. I imagine teachers, parents, and librarians breathe a sigh of relief when Lauren Child's books are chosen for storytime. Each phrase reads like a poem, not a word out of place.
Unlike many works where brothers and sisters don't get along, the relationship between Charlie and Lola is precious. I'd recommend this book to anyone needing to help a child overcome apprehension of visiting someplace new: the dentist, church, relative's house, etc. Having a little friend like Soren Lorenson to tag along is a gentle way to dissuade those imaginary fears of childhood.