Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. My two oldest kids head back to school next Tuesday. Last week I reviewed Grumpy Bird written by Jeremy Tankard, my son’s favourite Scholastic school book. This week we’re still thinking about school.
This isn’t the first year of school for my two oldest (starting grade 2 and senior kindergarten) and they’re both really excited about heading back. But starting school for the first time or transitioning into a new grade can be scary for some kids. And Charlie and Lola deal with that issues, starting school, in Lauren Child’s book I am too absolutely small for School.
Lola is about to start school for the first time, but she doesn’t think she’s ready. She comes up with all sorts of reasons why she shouldn’t go to school: she’s not big enough, she has all her books memories and doesn’t need to learn to read, she doesn’t want to wear a schooliform or quite simply she’s far too busy doing other things at home.
That’s where big brother Charlie, who already goes to school, comes in to help address Lola’s fears. He explains in terms his little sister can understand how important and fun school can be, Like how Santa Clause doesn’t own a phone so if Lola wants him to get her wish list, she’ll have to write him a letter. And to write him a letter means she needs to learn how to write.
My kids love the Charlie and Lola books (there are a few). My son thinks Lola is very, very funny. He loves all the crazy things she does and says, something I’m sure he can relate too.
My older daughter’s thoughts:
I like that the words zig zag around the page. And the pictures use bright colours and patterns. I’m not sure if Charlie and Lola are real but I’d like to think they are. Their stories are just like real kid stories.
The Charlie and Lola stories are written from Charlie’s point of view. The language used creates a beautiful distinction between Charlie’s older, wiser big brother voice and Lola’s young, carefree child-like voice. Lauren Child’s books are a delight to read and look at. She treats the copy as an extension of the illustrations, using different fonts and sizes as well as weaving it around the page and other images. I love the mix of photography and illustration.
I am too absolutely small for Schoolis a great story that addresses a number of issues a child might have floating around in their pre-school thoughts. And Charlie and Lola are a delightful in helping relieve those concerns.
You can also read other Write a Review Wednesday posts.