I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

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I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: In this delightful book, the wonderful Charlie and Lola discuss spiders. Lola's not very keen at all but clever Charlie soon persuades her that spiders are really quite magnificent creatures and before long she's aiming to host a spider tea party. This lovely story is made so much better because contained within the pages are wonderful illustrations which turn into six twelve piece jigsaw puzzles making this a book your child will want to return to again and again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? No
Pages: 6 Date: September 2008
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 978-0141384580

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From ever since I can remember my three year old daughter has been a huge fan of Charlie and Lola, a delightful brother and sister act created by Lauren Child. Charlie is the older somewhat wiser brother whereas Lola is his younger, scattier and, at times, slightly annoying sister. In all of the stories about them, Lola generally has a problem which Charlie has to sort out. In this book her problem is spiders and the fact that she's not very keen on them.

Lola starts by saying that she doesn't like spiders because they are always dangling and running about and you never know what they will do next. Added to that they are very big and hairy. Charlie very rationally explains that the spiders are probably much more afraid of Lola and that they are really quite clever and can weave amazingly strong webs! Obviously Charlie talks a lot of sense because by the end Lola also agrees that they are amazing and when Charlie offers to put the spider outside she tells him not to because she is going to have a spider tea party in the spider house she has made.

As you can see it really is a very short and sweet story but it is perfect for young children. The topic is one that lots of children (and grown ups too) will identify with and it could help some overcome their own fear of spiders. The language is very straightforward and accessible and is mainly made up of dialogue between the brother and sister. The dialogue is fantastic and Lola has that amazing type of phraseology that only a small child can get away with. Knowing the TV series quite well, it is always a challenge to achieve the voices of both Charlie and Lola but both my girls tell me I do a pretty good job.

Every Charlie and Lola story always starts in the same way:

I have this little sister Lola.

She is small and very funny.

This is great for small children because from the very start the book is familiar and reassuring. My daughter is always very happy to join in and even though she didn't know this book, she didn't really need me to read these first couple of lines.

Lauren Child's illustrations of Charlie and Lola are wonderful. They both have a slightly unkempt look with straggly blonde hair and big enquiring eyes. You just want to give them both a great big hug. We love picking out all of Lola's antics in all of the pictures. She reminds me in many ways of my own two daughters who are both as full of fun as she is. On each page the illustrations match the text perfectly and really lift the humour from the words. There is an added bonus though as each illustration can actually be detached to become a twelve piece jigsaw. My daughter was delighted with these and has whiled away a few happy hours making and re-making these. I'm very impressed with the quality of the puzzles particularly because they fit back into the pages perfectly which does not always happen with the other jigsaw books we have.

This is an excellent book to share with young children and I would say that three is probably the optimum age. The story is one they can relate to and the puzzles are well within their range. Above all though, it's a story about Charlie and Lola and I've yet to meet a child who doesn't love both of them!

If your child is a Charlie and Lola fan and they enjoy this book, take a look at I Can Do Anything That's Everything All on my Own.

Buy I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I'm Just Not Keen On Spiders (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child at Amazon.com.


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