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'Whoops! But it wasn't me' is another book in the delightful Charlie and Lola series. My girls and I first got to know Charlie and Lola through the wonderful animated programmes shown on the cbeebies channel. All of the books are equally wonderfully and thoroughly enjoyed by both my daughters. When we read 'Whoops! But it wasn't me' we weren't disappointed.
Charlie and Lola are brother and sister - Charlie is the older, more sensible and wise boy whereas Lola could probably be classed as an inquisitive but loveable nuisance! In this story, Charlie is very proud of an amazing rocket he has built out of all sorts of recyclable things. While he goes out to play, he tells Lola that above all else, she must not touch it as it is highly breakable. That, to any young inquisitive child really sounds like an invitation to touch it which is, of course, exactly what Lola does!
She starts to make up a game with her imaginary friend Soren Lorensen, which ultimately includes taking an elephant back home - and what better form of transportation than Charlie's rocket? Well, you can probably guess what happens next and of course when Charlie discovers his smashed rocket he is very upset. At first Lola denies that she had anything to do with the rocket breaking but Charlie knows she is lying. Lola then makes up a very elaborate story about how the rocket broke but knows that ultimately she is going to have to tell Charlie the truth. She confesses and says that she is very sorry and eventually brother and sister hug and make up - and it's not so bad after all as Charlie has managed to mend his amazing rocket! Lola is just about to grab it to have a look when Charlie tells her very sternly - 'Don't Touch it!'
I'm sure that for anyone who has more than one child the above scenario is probably quite familiar especially when your younger child always seems to mess up the older one's things! That's definitely the case in our house and it's neither of their faults - it's just the stages they are at! This is what I like about all of the Charlie and Lola stories though - they are so real! You recognise so much of what happens in the stories! In this story there is a lot you can talk about with young children such as how they should try to respect one another's things and if they do damage something than the best policy is to own up straight away. They can see how Lola makes things much worse for herself by not admitting to what she has done straight away.
I also really like the way all of these stories are written. Every book (and every TV programme) starts with the same words -
I have this little sister Lola.
She is small and very funny.
This has such a familiar start for children that they feel very comfortable at the start of a new book. Both of my daughters will start straight away by joining in with these words. The language is mainly simple and almost childlike which is very apropriate as the story is being told by Charlie. There is also lots of speech which is fun when you are reading trying to put on the different voices. Also the words are set out on the page in lots of interesting ways. Sometimes the text is as you would expect, sometimes it meanders diagonally across the page, sometimes it's in big,bold letters and sometimes the words look as if they are all falling over each other. These are all fun to look at but probably not very accessible for a child just starting to read.
The pictures in this book are all fantastic too. Both Charlie and Lola have rather scraggy blonde hair and big doey eyes! They both always look very sweet. The backgrounds are also all very enjoyable with lots of different colours and wallpaper effects. Sometimes the illustrations look as if they have been drawn by a child and sometimes real photos are used. There is a really good variety in all these illustrations.
Overall we really love this book and it has been read many many times in our house and still my daughters aren't bored with it which is always a very good recommendation. It is published by Puffin and our hardback copy has a RRP of £7.99.
¥¥¥ Charlie and Lola ¥¥¥
Charlie and Lola are a very popular television / cbeebies characters.
The siblings were first introduced in ' I will not ever, NEVER eat a tomato' and first aired on television 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
∞∞∞ The Story ∞∞∞
This is a great story to use to demonstrate to children that if you make a mistake and are genuinely sorry for it and tell the truth then you dont always get in to huge trouble . Obviously dependent upon what the severity of the mistake or naughty thing!
Like most of the books in this series the story is told through Charlie who introduces his sister, Lola as small and very funny.
Lola likes to play with Charlies things which he admits he doesnt usually mind. However on this occasion, Charlie has made a rocket and in his own words it is the best thing I have ever made.
Due to the fact that he has spent hours upon hours making it and knowing what little fingers and hands are like, he specifically tells Lola NOT TO TOUCH IT! Asking her to double and even triple promise.
Charlie goes out to play with his friend and suggests that Lola plays with Soren Lorensen, her imaginary friend, so she does exactly that! They have a great time but the game turns round to them really needing the rocket to transport Ellie the elephant back to elephant land!
Now Soren Lorensen is so, so persuasive that Lola climbs up high, reaches up for the rocket and WHOOPS! drops it and it breaks in to tiny little pieces.
Charlie returns and is understandably furious. Lola denies breaking it and Charlie shouts even louder, she even blames Soren Lorensen and comes up with an tale as imaginative as her friend!
Charlie threatens to tell Mum and at this point, Lola and Soren realise that it may be best to tell the truth and to say sorry and that is exactly what she does. Charlie accepts her apology as he realises that she truly is sorry and is at least telling the truth!
Charlie repairs the rocket and ends with Dont touch it!
It is then up to the reader to decide whether or not Lola would touch it again or has she learned her lesson?
¥¥¥ 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 but it makes it look at lot more interesting for the reader.
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, huge eyes!
There are also quite a lot of actual photos used along with her own illustrations, not unlike the ones found on microsoft clipart, e.g. when Charlie is talking about the things he used to make the superstructure there are photos of real yoghurt pots etc..
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, but I would certainly not rule out reading it to younger, pre-school children. 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 third of fourth of the 'Charlie and Lola' books that I have bought.
They thoroughly enjoyed it and a lot of discussion took place as a result of this book which is always a good thing.
We were able to use it as a basis for PSE sessions, talking about a number of issues that arise from the book:
~ The importance of telling the truth.
~ The importance of being genuinely sorry.
~ How people are often able to forgive you.
~ When people ask you not to touch something that is precious to them, you really, really shouldnt touch it!
¥¥¥ Price ¥¥¥
My hardcover, ISBN: 0-141-38240-6 was £7.99
Amazon are selling the following used and new copies:
Hardcovers from £1.50
Paperbacks from just 83p
Big brother Charlie is happy to share his toys with Lolabut his handmade, prize-winning rocket is off-limits! When temptation becomes too much for Lola, she tries to take down the rocketand it falls and breaks! Can friendship between brother and sister get put back together again?