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Charlie and Lola: I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato - Lauren Child
Advantages: Popular characters and relevant subject matter to children and fussy eaters!
~ Charlie and Lola ~
Charlie and Lola are very popular television / cbeebies characters.
The siblings were first introduced in this book ' I will not ever, NEVER eat a tomato' and first aired on tv in the autumn of 2005. Charlie is a boy of approximately 7 years with a younger sister called Lola.
The creator of Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child has created quite a lot of books in a short space of time, some of which I have listed below:
* I absolutely must do colouring-in now!
* I am not sleepy and I will NOT go to bed.
* Snow is my favourite and my best.
* I am TOO absolutely small for school
* Whoops! But it wasn't me.
~ The Story ~
The story is told by Charlie. He introduces his sister, Lola descrbing her as small and very funny!
He tells the reader that sometimes he has to keep an eye on her and even has to give her her dinner which he declares is a 'hard job' as she's a fussy eater!
Lola comes out with all kinds of excuses for not eating certain things:
* Carrots are for rabbits.
* Peas are too small and green
Lola comes out with a HUGE list of things that she will not eat ranging from mushrooms to fish fingers and 'I absolutely will not ever NEVER eat a tomato'.
Charlie very cleverly tells her that that's lucky as they aren't going to be eating any food from her most hated list! And this is when Charlie's brilliance comes to life.
He explains that what Lola thinks are carrots are in fact ' orange twiglets from Jupiter' and Lola tries one, declaring 'Mmm, not bad'.
* Peas are green drops from Greenland
* Mash potato is cloud fluff from the peak of Mount Fuji
* The fish fingers are ocean nibbles which mermaids eat all of the time.
Thanks to Charlie's imagination, Lola tries everything and declares her fondness for the items.
That is until she asks to try a tomato... stunned by this, Charlie asks if she is sure when she declares;
'Yes, of course, moonsquirters are my favourites.'
'You didn't think they were tomatoes, did you Charlie?'
And so Charlie's ingenuity worked and he succeeded in getting Lola to try and indeed like a range of foodstuffs where others had failed before!
- The illustrations and Format -
There is quite a lot of text in this book and is told by Charlie, the older brother who introduces the theme for the story and his sister. Most of the story is told in dialogue and there is quite a lot of 'bold' type used to stress and emphasise some of it when reading it aloud.
The text is rarely in the same position on each page, so not great for emergent readers if reading it alone.
Lauren Child's illustrations are so simple yet very effective. The children are very simply drawn almost like some of the 6 - 7 year olds I'm teaching at the moment would be happy with. She's brilliant at capturing the feelings of the children, using their facial expressions and in particular their huge eyes.
There are also quite a few actual photos used along with her own illustrations, not unlike the ones found on microsoft clipart.
The colours used are very rich and vibrant, instantly appealing to very young children.
Lauren Child's discussion about how she produces the illustrations: ' I use a computer for a lot of the work. I put together backgrounds made up of photographs, collages etc. After that I superimpose the figures'.
It is suggested that the age range that this book is suitable for is 4-8, although the subject matter is appropriate to all of those 'fussy eaters' out there of which there seems to be many based on my experience of primary school dining rooms! This would obviously be dependent upon their levels of concentration but this would appeal to many as they may recognise the characters from the tv series.
- My Verdict -
This is the second of the 'Charlie and Lola' books that I have bought.
The children thoroughly enjoyed it and a lot of discussion took place as a result of this book which is always a good thing. However my plans of pretending that certain food products are from Jupiter, Mount Fuji etc have been spoiled as the children now realise that it is a fib!!
Based on this book I will certainly be keeping an eye out for others in the series.
- Price -
My paperback, ISBN: 1-84121-602-X was £4.99
Amazon are selling the following used and new copies:
Hardcovers from £1.35
Paperbacks from just 97p
In short, it isn't surprising how this won the Kate Greenaway Medal!
Summary: Another great book in this popular series by Lauren Child.