Newest Review: ... just that she is young and learning how to behave better. Her older brother Charlie seems to have a lot of responsibility for his sist... more
Lola says she NEVER gets tired
Charlie and Lola: I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed - Lauren Child
Member Name: StampedingTurtes
Charlie and Lola: I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed - Lauren Child
Advantages: Great images and illustrations, lovely story, fun
Disadvantages: Could be a little young for some children
Most people will be familiar with the Charlie and Lola series from the picture books or from the TV. To be honest, I hated these characters when I first noticed them on the TV. They were very childish and I felt that they were not particularly useful for children to watch - the characters' speech is very babyish and to be honest, I feel that this is not the correct way to model language for young children.
So, when we studied early literacy at uni I was not particularly drawn to the Charlie and Lola series. After reading a couple of the picture books on my own, and with children, I have changed my mind entirely! I still don't like the TV version with the baby voices but the books themselves are fantastic!
The two main characters in the book are, of course, Charlie and Lola. Charlie is the responsible older brother and the actual text of the story comes from his point of view.
Lola is the little sister who does not want to go to bed. Many of the pictures in the story are actually the things that Lola is seeing in her quest to put bed time off just a little longer. Of course Charlie plays along with all of this.
The characters are very likeable. Many younger children identify with Lola and many children who have younger siblings sympathise with Charlie and can have a laugh about Lola's silliness.
Lola does not want to go to bed and Charlie is trying every single trick he knows to try to persuade her. Anyone who has ever tried to get a child to go to bed at the right time will have a little giggle at this book as Lola proves to be ingenious in her stalling techniques.
The story is simple enough and centres around the night time rituals before bed. Charlie makes Lola(and three tigers) a bed time drink, watches her brush her teeth (with a lion), puts her in a bath (after chasing a whale down the plug hole), gets her pyjamas on (after borrowing them from two dancing dogs) and gets her into bed (only to discover that there may be a hippo in his own bed).
It is told with great humour. Lauren Child demonstrates the wonderful little fibs that children come up with and shows with humour how one small child at bed time can make you feel like you're going insane (or is that just my experience of little cousins??)
Like all good picture books, it is a simple story which is rich in interesting words and images which do much to fill out the main themes and give non readers a great deal of access to the book.
Language and Text
The Language of the book is very simple and also very funny. It shows little inconsistencies in children's speech. Lola, for example, mispronounces the word hippopotamus - "hippipotimus" and when talking about the time she mentions "13 o'clock in the morning". These little idiosyncrasies can be useful to discuss with children. Very young children will have very little idea of time of day and would accept 13 o'clock easily. The adult can open up a discussion about the hours of the day and about what we do at different times of the day. These kinds of discussion are actually very important in a child's development.
The book contains references to number. Three tigers, two dancing dogs, one lion and one whale. This can be used for very young children to bring counting into the story. Many young children love being read to and at the same time being actively involved in the experience by counting or naming shapes or colours etc. This book is fantastic for that.
I love the text and print in this book. It is not completely linear the way most books are printed. Much of
........... .............. ........... ......... the book
.... .............. ............ ............. ......... has the text
............ ............ .......... ................ .............. weaving
........ ........ ......... ........ ........ ........ ......... .......... across the page
............ ............ ............. .............. ............ ........ ......... ........ like this.
There are also pages with conventional text use and text written in the milk glass or across the table. For the child, this makes the book interesting to look at. Text can be mysterious to children; they have to learn how to decode it. The different layout of text in this book makes it interesting to look at for non reader, and for readers, it reinforces the fact that text still makes sense and can still be read, no matter how it may be presented before them.
Illustration and backgrounds
This being a picture book, the illustrations are central to the story. The drawing style is childish and scratchy. The characters look very much like something a child would draw themselves. This helps to involve the children in the story and helps them to relate to the book and to the characters.
There is also a collage style to the overall look of this book. Simple things like the buttons on Lola's shirt are photographs of real buttons, the glass of pink milk is a photograph set within an illustrated scene. There are also a mixture of illustrated and printed and textures backgrounds such as wallpaper and carpets. The photographs hanging from the walls are a nice touch and mix in nicely with the drawings by Lola and illustrated pictures.
I particularly like the page representing Lola's bedroom. The combination of illustration and photograph works so well here. The beds and characters are all illustration, but most of Lola's toys are photos of the real thing. There is a book lying open with photos of a golden retriever and a tea set. There are also photos hanging from the walls which are a lovely touch.
The very last page is completely black with just Lola and the hippo's closed eyes and "ZzZzZzZz" plus poor Charlie's wide open eyes in the dark.
The book is very colourful and busy. Each page is full of texture and depth which makes this a very engaging picture book for children of many ages.
I would say that this book is suitable to read to children from 3 to 6 years old. It is also an excellent book for 6 to 8 year olds to read to younger siblings - i.e. taking on the roles of Charlie and Lola, the eldest helping the youngest to get to sleep.
I think the book is perhaps too young for most children who are 8 or over. Really it is aimed at the 3 - 6 age group. It all really depends upon the maturity of your child. I'm sure I would have been bored by this when I was 6, but many 6 year olds I have read it with have absolutely loved it.
A great picture book about bed time. Wonderful for getting little ones to bed and a great bed time story. Also useful for discussing time of day, what we do at night time sort of thing.
Visually I cannot fault this book, it is a pleasure to explore, and each page is full of texture and colour. Language wise, it is simple enough for younger children to understand and for slightly older children to read. It also retains a little humour for the long suffering adult who will no doubt be asked to read it again and again.
I would definitely recommend this book for those with young children or for reading to nursery or P1 children in general. It's entertaining and opens up much opportunity for discussion. Definitely a book to buy rather than borrow.
Summary: A lovely picture book for bed time.
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