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m"You can be my friend" is based around Lola making friends with Morten. Her brother Charlie is best friends with Morten's brother, Marv. One day, Marv comes to play with Charlie and brings Morten to play with Lola who is originally not very sure but eventually makes friends with him.
Like all C&L books, this book has a message within the story - this one is about being nice and making friends with others even if you are very different. The story appeals to my three children, aged 6, 4 and 2, and has lovely colourful illustrations. However, it is slightly less imaginative than some of the other C&L books we own - there are less wild ideas of jungles or underwater supermarkets, and the main focus is on games and activities that Lola likes to play - tea parties, dressing up and the like. Nevertheless, it is a nice story. It is one of the ones adapted from a TV episode rather than being written as a book first and then adapted for TV. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but purists may lean slightly towards the books that are not adapted from a TV script (me included, I'm afraid!)
Our version of this book is a board book one, and this was my main reason for choosing it as they are harder to get but it makes sense to have a board book version of a picture book when you have little ones as they will often rip the pages otherwise. C&L books are loved for their illustrations as much as their stories, so if you can get hold of this board book version it is great for allowing younger children to access C&L books before they can read them without risking ripping.
Generally, this book is a great buy for children aged 2-4, and is particularly good for reading to children at the younger end of this bracket because of the bright, engaging illustrations. Recommended.
Charlie And Lola are a brother and sister who get up to all sorts of fun and mischief together and whose stories normally focus around big brother Charlie teaching little sister Lola important lessons in life. With a popular animated T.V series and a whole host of merchandising, the pair have gone on to make creator, Lauren Child, a whole shed-load of money and are enjoyed by children and parents alike!
You Can Be My Friend sees Lola being introduced to the little brother of Charlie's berst mate, Marv, for the very first time! Morten is very quiet and more than a little shy. All Lola's efforts to get him to play or to talk to her are met with frustration and Lola begins to think that they are never going to get along. Then Lola and Morten discover some common ground and a beautiful friendship is formed.....
This is another great, simple little tale from author, Lauren Child that centres around everyday events that all children can associate with. This gives the children reading this some frame of reference that they can then make use of in their own lives. What I like best about these books is their simple humour, their clever style and their easily read text that is child's play (excuse the pun) to follow. It is a great book to read with your children and there is enough here for the adult to enjoy as well. The illustrations are simply sublime and instantly familiar to anyone who has seen the T.V show and near impossible not to like!
Our version of this book is in a board variety so is easy to wipe clean if stuff like juice gets spilled on it and is extremely hard-wearing! It is also available in paperback as well and is taken from an episode of the show giving it one more reason why it may seem familiar to children who are Charlie And Lola fans!
I think these two characters are delightful and would reccommend these books to anyone!
'You can be my Friend' is a delightful picture story book aimed at young children and starring most children's favourites - Charlie and Lola. This book is based on one of the episodes of the Charlie and Lola series which is shown on Cbeebies, and although it says on the front that it is based on the characters created by Lauren Child, it is not actually written by her. The text is in fact based on the script of the TV programme. This does not matter at all though, as the book is absolutely delightful in every way.
For anyone who does not know, Charlie and Lola are brother and sister. Charlie is the older more sensible brother whereas Lola is the younger, more quizzical and sometimes a little bit naughty younger sister. In all the stories, Charlie at some point needs to share his wonderful words of wisdom with Lola.
In this story, Lola is very excited because Charlie's best friend Marv is bringing his younger brother to play. Lola is full of ideas about what they will play although Charlie warns her that Morten might want to do other things instead including the game 'round and round' which Lola claims not to like at all. In fact, when Morten arrives he is really very quiet and doesn't want to do much at all so he is a big disappointment to Lola. It's all going horribly wrong for her until they are sitting at tea and Lola starts blowing bubbles in her pink milk! This makes Morten giggle and before they know it he is blowing bubbles too and they are laughing and playing together with no problem! In fact, Lola is so happy with her new friend that at the end of the story she even agrees to play Round and Round!
Both my four year old and three year old really enjoy this book. In essence it is a very simple story but there are also underlying messages about friendship and the need to compromise. It's quite a useful book to share with little ones who are a bit strongheaded and always want to play the games that they choose. This book can help to show that sometimes you need to take notice of what others want as well and sometimes look for the right game for you both to play (even if it is blowing bubbles in pink milk!)
Most of the story is written in the form of a conversation between Charlie and Lola and this is very true to how the characters speak in the TV series and the language is all quite straightforward and accessible for young children. Lola in particular comes out with the most wonderful childlike but innocent phrases whereas Charlie always seems to be wise beyond his years which I think are about seven! If you know the TV series, it's quite a challenge to read the book in the Charlie and Lola voices, but my daughters love it when I do this. All of the Charlie and Lola books also have the same opening:
I have this little sister Lola
She is small and very funny
My daughters love this very familiar opening as they know straight away what to expect and they can join in with these words at the beginning.
You can't talk about this book without mentioning the wonderful illustrations. Some are quite surreal such as Lola walking on the Round and Round board game and when Lola suggests playing Upside Down, the whole picture turns upside down. Added to this are the excellent illustrations of the main chracters with their untidy hair, big wide eyes and their innocent expressions. They are very endearing.
So we all definitely recommend this book and I'm sure it will be a big hit with any Charlie and Lola fans. It's a lovely story accompanied by wonderful illustrations and has a slightly more serious theme to discuss if appropriate. I'm sure it's a book we will be reading many more times!
You can be my Friend is published by Grosset and Dunlop and can be bought on Amazon for only £2.02
Book Series: Charlie and Lola