105 Ways to Give a Book

Charlie and Lola Make The Big Time

I love Lauren Child’s books about Charlie and Lola. Really, really love them. When I first saw I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, I was impressed by the particular comic style. The illustrations put me off at first, but I found that they were an acquired taste, like blue cheese or Curb Your Enthusiasm. After I got over the big eyes and pieced-together scenes, I found myself a true fan of the artistic interpretation and how it complements the text.

Then one day I’m minding my own business, and what should come on the Disney Channel but Charlie and Lola! These kids had made the big time with their own short animated series. You can imagine my trepidation given that the show is from Disney, home of such horrors as Pooh Adore-ables and really too many other travesties to children’s literature to name. But, as it turns out, the Charlie and Lola episodes are great. Most preschooler shows these days look like they were put together by the Committee of Important Lessons for Children (so that parents will feel better about their kids watching TV, and therefore we can plug the related toys, books, and clothes). But Charlie and Lola is just clever, funny, and entertaining. What a concept.

But Excuse Me That Is My BookWhen a new Lauren Child book, But Excuse Me That Is My Book, came to my library, I brought it home to read to my seven-year-old. She seemed to be strangely familiar with the story. As it turns out, she had already seen the Charlie and Lola show from this book. Or, more accurately, this book was made from the show. Now the characters have come full circle. First a few books, then a few shows, and now books from the shows.

But you won’t see me complaining this time, because these books are good. How good? School Library Journal Best Books of 2006 good, where it’s listed along with other tops of the year like Lilly’s Big Day and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Moon.

But Excuse Me That Is My Book tells the story of Lola’s need to find her favorite book at the library, her heartbreak when it’s not there, and Charlie’s assistance in finding her something new. It’s spot-on perfect.

But you know, this post was supposed to be about Winter is My Favorite and My Best, which is also extremely very good, being the story of Charlie and Lola waiting for snow, playing in snow, and talking about snow. Okay, the book reads better than that. Imagine it with characters who entertain and amuse you.

But the best things about these books — besides the clever writing, incredible illustration, and comic style — is that you almost have to read them with a British accent. Especially after having seen the shows, it would be hard to resist. I know I’ve just made my British readers cringe, but maybe this version will win you over. Here’s an excerpt from Lauren Child’s But Excuse Me That Is My Book, as performed by the MotherReader players.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

You mean those aren't the voices of kids from the TV show?!! (My daughter tells me that Lola's voice is that of sisters Maisie and Clementine Cowell.) Are those your kids!? Whoever they are, they are destined for greatness.

And I agree 100% about the show. Even my teenage son is a fan.

MotherReader said...

Yes, that is my seven year old as Lola and my ten year old as Charlie. Pretty good, huh?

Little Willow said...

SUCH fun. :)

Little Willow said...

...and now that I'm home, I can listen to the MP3. Oh my gracious! Your munchkins are SPOT ON! I applaud them.

Anonymous said...

This British reader didn't cringe - your kids' rendition is lovely!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. That is the most delightful thing I've heard in a while. Cutecutecute!

I adore But Excuse Me, That Is My Book. My kids are older and it brings back happy memories, from back in the days when they were small and I was just another patron. (Now I'm the collection manager who buys the YA books, and maintaining the separation between library-hat "what I think you'd enjoy" and mom-hat "what I think you should read" is complicated. Still fun, but different.)

There have been half a dozen excellent, down-to-earth, not-preachy kids-and-libraries books in the last couple of years, actually, and it's great to see.

jules said...

Unrelated, but I just wanted to say happy thanksgiving. I'm making rounds quickly right now to leave happy holiday messages on my favorite blogs.... I love your new format. Woo hoo! Pretty site!

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful! Your kids are obviously destined for lives of greatness. Or at least subterfuge.

(GRIN)

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anyone (British or any other nationality) being too stuffy to appreciate that wonderful clip of your kids reading!

Jennifer said...

Both my 8 year old and my toddler enjoy the clips of Charlie and Lola on Disney. I didn't know about the books, so maybe I'll check them out.

Lani Stack said...

I want to borrow your kids for a month so they can read me all the classics of British literature (including Charlie and Lola, of course). Stellar job! Do they have British friends or do they pick up accents from the TV (err, telly)?

I'm a children's book reviewer (without any kids of my own) and was searching for high-res images of Snow is My Favorite when I came across your site. Thanks for the laugh. Lauren Child is my new favorite author and I've been exuberantly pushing her on my readers for several months now. So glad to know others also adore her.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Lola is a great show, one of our whole family's favorites. The books are great too, but I think they came first, then the t.v. show. We have the book of "I am not sleepy..." and it was published in the U.k. in 2001. Obviously this is a British show, and I am SO glad they kept the original voices. It would sound ridiculous with American voice-over,and the actors are terrific! So natural. I wish they had kept the British voices for Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank. Our kids don't need to think everyone and everything is American. I just hope Disney is wise enough to keep Charlie and Lola on!

MackNZ said...

I just love the show Charlie and Lola! We stumbled upon one of the books, but we had never seen the show. I love watching the show, it is clever, funny, and it always gets me started on new and fun ideas. (Recycling, games, etc.)

You're kids are SO talented thanks for letting them be TV stars!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I cannot get the sound clip to work, what am I doing wrong? I love this series and we haven't missed a show yet b/c it's one that I actually like as much as the kids so!

Laura said...

Hee hee! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Your kids do the Charlie and Lola voices to a tee! So funny to hear that others read these books using the English accent, because that's just what I do when I read the Charlie and Lola books to my kids. I have just purchased some of the books with a CD recording included. Australian Reader.

kari 3 said...

lol they sound sooooo cute my daughters read Charlie and Lola books and my oldest reads the clarice bean series by Lauren Child also it's the same cuteness they have picture books and chapter books they're very exciting and the chapter books even have pictures and cute little surprises on all the pages.

http://www.claricebean.com

ps- my daughter does the accents too

Elin said...

I love Charlie and Lola, but I've onlye read them in Norwegian. ;-)

Simone said...

Spot on! Love it.

Gigi said...

We are hungarian.My 5 year old too.She was born here in England but we always read bedtime stories in Hungarian.Except for Charlie and Lola.Their stories have to be in english.and we are in love with the dvds.We have got allllll of the episodes. .Box set and all!:-)