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I Am Too Absolutely Small for School (Charlie and Lola) Paperback – August 9, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–The endearing siblings who first appeared in I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Candlewick, 2000) return with equally satisfying results. This time, little sister Lola has decided that while her parents think she is "nearly almost big enough to go to school," she is "absolutely not BIG." Charlie, the narrator, puts forth numerous sound reasons for going to school that Lola counters with her own unique logic: "I say… 'If you know how to write, you can send cards to people you like.' Lola says, 'I like to talk on the telephone. It's more friendly and straightaway.'" Charlie eventually comes up with a reason Lola cannot refute–her invisible friend is starting school and will be lonely without her–and she embarks on her educational career. The children's relationship is refreshingly noncombative, with Charlie as the protective and affectionate big brother who is appreciative of, rather than annoyed by, his sister's quirkiness. Incorporating photos, fabric, and appealingly childlike cartoon renderings of the siblings, the mixed-media illustrations are a visual treat of color and texture. This is a winner either as a read-aloud or for independent perusal.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Readers familiar with Child's I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (2000) and I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed (2001) will know that Lola has some fiercely held opinions, and that older brother Charlie has a way of coaxing her around to his point of view. In this case, the controversial topic is whether Lola will give formal education a try. The tousled youngster states her case with her usual Eloise-like panache: "I probably do not have time to go to school. I am too extremely busy doing important things at home." Charlie counters by pointing out the equally important things to be done at school, but in the end, his most successful ploy is an indirect one: Soren Lorenson, Lola's imaginary friend, may need moral support. The brother-sister dynamic here may be atypically sunny, but parents will certainly appreciate the siblings' tender, supportive relationship, and children will respond to the wild typography, colors, and patterns of Child's distinctive mixed-media artwork. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Charlie and Lola
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763628875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763628871
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heather Ivester on June 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best childrens books I have read in ages! The illustrations are amazingly inventive and the dialog between the brother and sister is really witty and memorable. I read this to my 3 year old son and he wanted to read it over and over. This is definitely a must have for the house!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charlie and Lola books are great. Similar if not exact story lines to the TV shows. My daughter loves them. Strong visual imagery. Good price point for the quality. But note there are different sizes in books sold by Amazon
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Format: Paperback
My kids both love Charlie and Lola! I have only recently discovered them, but found this book just before my daughter started kindergarten. This book looks at some of the things that kids will worry about when they start school (especially for the first time, but also as it turns out for starting a new grade!) and helps ease many of those worries in a way that is gentle and humorous. I love how gentle and easy-going Charlie is with his little sister, and how refreshing it is to see a sister and brother pair who genuinely love each other and even when they're frustrated with each other, they manage to work it out. My daughter and her little brother will have richer lives for this series of books. I can't recommend them highly enough!!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for kids who are nervous about starting school (and it's fun, even for those not starting school). Charlie and Lola are endearing characters, Lauren Child's writing is clever, and her illustrations are imaginitive and colorful. My 3 year old son absolutley loves all of the Charlie and Lola books, and I never get tired of reading them!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter and I love the Charlie & Lola books! This is one of my favorites because it helps address some of the apprehensions kids feel about starting school. My daughter is almost 3 and we've been reading this and talking about what it will be like to go to school one day. I think this will help a lot because when we read "But Excuse Me That is My Book" she learned all about the library and when I took her she was totally prepared! I'm hoping this book will do the same for her with school and make the transition easier on her.

This is a soft cover book but the pages are super heavy and glossy. They do not tear easily. And the book itself is really big! Don't forget to look for Soren Lorensen, the invisible friend. If you hold the page just right you can see him there! That was an exciting discovery!
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Format: Hardcover
Charlie & Lola first starred in "I will not ever never eat a tomato" which was a hysterically funny book we loved.

In this new adventure, Lola's parents feel she is ready to go to school - Lola herself is not so sure (ergo, the title), and with funny turns of phrases has us all laughing while Charlie patiently coaxes her into going.

With lots of bold & bright colours on every page, and using the collage technique, this book is another winner.

Lola is delightful, and Charlie the perfect elder brother, he finds her most amusing and is keeping a sharp eye out for her when she does go to school. Thank god some kids interact like this! I also feel this book is encouragement to children to relate in a more positive fashion.

The text is always dynamic on the page - from twisting & dancing across the page to curling around the telephone (which Lola likes because it's "more friendly & straightaway")something we all must feel in this age of email & immediacy.

One of the funniest moments is when Lola is convinced to go to school, relieved she doesn't need to wear uniform & decides Alligator gear is the perfect outfit to don!

Charming & funny, it's a great book to own.

kotori 2004 - ojadis@yahoo.com
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