Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Travel the World: England: Charlie and Lola

Today I am reviewing several of the newer books in one of my favorite series. I absolutely fell in love with the characters of Charlie and Lola created by Lauren Child several years ago. In their first book, I WILL NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO, Charlie must help his sister Lola, who is a picky eater, overcome some of her issues with food. In their second book, I AM NOT SLEEPY AND I WILL NOT GO TO BED, Charlie must help put Lola, who is rather stubborn, to bed. Their third book, perhaps my favorite because it was the first one that I discovered, was called I AM TOO ABSOLUTELY SMALL FOR SCHOOL. Charlie must help Lola overcome her going-to-school jitters. Each of the books were fun, creative, and had a way of combining illustrations and text that were memorable and ever-so-charming. (Child does her own illustrations.) After the release of the third book, I discovered a new program. Someone had brought Charlie and Lola to life as a cartoon show on a cable network! Now with the success of the show, Charlie and Lola books are abundant with several hardback and paperback books being published each year.

Child, Lauren. 2006. But Excuse Me That Is My Book.

When their father tells Charlie and Lola that he is taking them to the library, this brother and sister team are happy. Lola has it all figured out. Today she will check out her favorite book in the whole world. It doesn't matter that she's checked this book out time and time and time again in the past. It is her favorite and her best. "But Charlie, Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies is a very special book that is my favorite and I really need it. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now!" But when the pair arrive at the library, Lola is in for quite a shock. She discovers her book is "lost" and "completely not there!" Charlie, ever-patient, reminds her that this is a library and that lots of people check out books. But Lola is convinced that Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies is HER book. Can Charlie convince her that she might like another book just as much? Or will this library trip turn into a disastrous fit? Funny as ever, Child once again illustrates a valuable lesson that relates with children everywhere.

Say Cheese by Lauren Child (2007) School picture day has never been so much fun as it is in Say Cheese by Lauren Child. Picture day is fast approaching as Charlie and Lola prepare to be their best. But Lola, like always, will need a miracle to get through the day all clean and tidy by the time it is time for pictures. Will Lola take that perfect picture? Can she resist the many temptations that will beset her before school, during art, during recess, and during lunch? You'll have to see for yourself what this duo ends up doing to get the 'perfect' picture for their mom!

Lauren's Child picture book, I Will Never Not Ever Eat A Tomato, has just been released in pop-up format. The original book was a great treat. Charlie and Lola are the unforgettable brother and sister duo. Lola is a picky eater, and it's up to her big brother Charlie to make sure Lola eats a nice, healthy meal. This book was one of the first in the cartoon series as well. So while the story may be a familiar one, it's a must-have in my book. Why? Well, the pop-ups are fun. They make Lauren Child's playful illustrations even MORE playful than before. (Which is hard to do, by the way!) The publisher of this one is Candlewick press.


Melissa 1:07 PM  

I LOVE Lauren Child. (As do my girls.) Whenever we see a new one by her at the library, we pick it up. I think, right now, our favorite Charlie and Lola is "Snow is my favorite and my best". But we really really like Clarice Bean. (chat, chat, chat, chat) She's funny!

A pop-up, though. That's worth checking out.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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