Newest Review: ... Lola's older brother Charlie is a bright button and has loads of ideas and advice to put Lola's mind at rest about starting school. ... more
Absolutely never too big for Charlie and Lola
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School - Lauren Child
Member Name: allybally
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School - Lauren Child
Advantages: Light-harted, imaginative, interesting illustrations
Author:/Illustrator: Lauren Child
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publish Date: August 2005
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Age Suitability: 4 - 8 (This is according to the publisher's my 2 ½ year old reads them now and I would suggest this would be of interest to kids older than 6)
Number of Pages: 32
Amazon Price: £4.74 RRP: £5.99
***About the Author*** (as found in I'm no tired...)
39 year old Lauren Child, borne to an Art teacher father grew up in Wiltshire. She studied art at both Manchester Polytechnic and City and Guilds of London Art School although she admits to learning very little during her time there. Shortly after leaving school, Child started a business making exotic lampshades.
Child's first writing efforts resulted in the popular Clarice Bean which was published in 1999 and she hasn't looked back since. She has gone on to write over twenty children's books and win a Kate Greenaway Medal for her artwork, chosen to promote 2000's World Book Day.
***Who are Charlie and Lola***
For those of you who haven't read any of the Charlie and Lola series, you may have seen the tv adaptation of the books on BBC or Nickelodeon Junior.
Lola, is a cute little blonde girl with a wonderful imagination and a great sense of humour. Her older brother Charlie who is often left in charge of his sister (we never do meet their parents….) is possibly the most patient pre-teen ever! He is forever having to accommodate Lola and often has to call on his own equally vivid imagination in order to encourage her to do whatever it is he is trying to get her to do.
****Other Charlie and Lola Books***
I've won, no I've won, no I've won
Whoops! But it wasn't me
We honestly can look after your dog
I will never not ever eat a tomato
I am not sleepy and will not go to bed
***What's it all about***
Lola has reached the age where she is to go to school. Understandably, she is a little nervous and makes up loads of excuses why she can't go to school. Charlie, being his usual patient and kind self - nothing like my brother was does everything he can to reassure her that her invisible friend Soren Lorensen can go to school too, and tries to ease Lola's first day jitters.
Of course, and I don't think I am giving anything away here, Lola has a great first day and even makes a friend called Lotta (Lotta goes on to appear in other stories such as "We honestly can look after your Dog" as Lola's best friend.)
***What did we think of the story***
I love Charlie and Lola and this book is no exception. Charlie gently points out to his little sister that she needs to learn to count past 10 and Lola explains she doesn't because she never eats more than 10 biscuits at one time. He tells her she will learn to write letters so she can tell Santa what she wants for Christmas. Lola prefers telephones - they are more "straight-away." When she complains about wearing a uniform, Charlie reassures her that her school has no uniform and she can wear what ever she wants. She takes his words seriously and returns in a crocodile suit only to have Charlie tell her Crocodile suits "are for best" For school, "stripes are nice."
The writing is funny and almost poetic. Lola's parts are written exactly like she would speak or as any child would before grammar becomes a part of their life. This style is incredibly endearing.
Child writes with such a vivid imagination that she manages to make the most mundane activities sound like an exciting adventure that Lola can't bring herself to miss out on.
This book encourages social awareness and skills to younger kids. It also acts as a great parental tool for those getting their little ones ready for the prospect of starting school for the first time.
***What did we think of the illustrations***
Lauren Child uses a mixture of bold black lines, flat colours and pattered pieces to create what can best be described as a "Kaleidoscopic collage." Her characters are firstly drawn using pencils (she refuses to us ink or pen) before being cut out and transferred to the computer.
This method results in a very layered style of illustration throughout the book giving the reader an awful lot to look at and take in. My son can spend hours dissecting all the imagery on one page of Lauren Childs work. The bright colours and busy patterns are extremely stimulating to any child and the quirky un-evenness Child uses adds to the child-like quality of her pictures.
I also find the characters are much more prominent and recognisable in this manner of illustration as they represent a simpler, cleaner image which is in direct contrast to the messy, busy torn patterned pictures that make up the background.
Great light-hearted story with bright and eye-catching illustrations sure to capture the hearts of your kids.
Summary: Charlie manages to convince his sister of how exciting the first day of school can be