Book Review: Charlie and his amazing Tales, by Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_charlieWe are introduced to Charlie by a young boy who is interested in becoming his new owner. We then hear about all the amazing adventures and abilities of Charlie from Charlie’s own mouth; from his days as a spy and saving people from fires and floods to his talent for singing, selfies and bathroom manners. All this on top of being a talking dog!

Of course the boy is amazed at all Charlie’s tales and wonders how this dog could possibly only be worth $10… this is where the twist comes. Upon inquiring about Charlie to his present owner the boy finds out the truth about Charlie; while Charlie is amazing at sharing his tales that’s all they actually are, tales. In reality Charlie the dog is just a dog. He hasn’t been around the world on crazy adventures nor has he saved lives. In fact he spends most of his days in the yard. However, the young boy, though disappointed in Charlie’s lying, still buys Charlie despite all this.

Rhythm and rhyme are so important towards children’s language learning and it’s always great to find a story that does both really well. Charlie and his amazing tales has a wonderful rhythm and rhyme to it that makes it really seem like it’s coming from the mouth of an excited dog. Children will find humour in the exaggerated stories that Charlie the dog tells and it could possibly get their own imaginations flowing!

As well as being a humorous tale this story has an important message about being yourself and accepting others for who they are. Charlie didn’t need to make up amazing tales about himself because he is amazing just the way he is (he’s already a talking dog!).

The bold and brightly coloured pencil illustrations suit the story and Kinnaird has managed to portray movement and expression amazingly in each scene. I enjoyed finding all the extra little details on each page, especially the appropriately placed Easter egg of the book Doggy Doo on my Shoe also by McMillan and Kinnaird.

Charlie and his amazing tales is a fun and imaginative story with an unexpected twist that addresses the importance of being yourself and also accepting people for who they are. But perhaps most importantly, children will enjoy the exciting story and illustrations of this book.

Reviewed by Alana Bird

Charlie and His Amazing Tales
by Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird
Published by Oratia Media
ISBN 9780947506339

 

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Book Review: Me Too, by Erika Geraerts, Charl Laubscher, Gatsby

Available in bookshops nationwide from 1 February 2018

cv_me_tooMe Too is a lovely little picture book about friendship.

Me Too depicts two friends as they voice their hopes for finding a someone who shares an appreciation for all the things that they value most. A someone that will go on adventures, build castles, a someone who will make dessert for breakfast or stay up late and talk. Each thing that one friend hopes to find in someone is followed by a simple ‘me too’ from the other. In those two little words we know these two friends have already found their someone.

It is obvious that this book was created by friends for friends. Friendship can be a difficult idea for young children to grasp and usually friendships begin when two people share common interests just like the two friends in this book. It is a lovely way of exploring the abstract idea of friendship for young children and could possibly spark reflection and conversation about what it means to be a friend and appreciating the friends we have.

The simple but meaningful words are paired perfectly with minimalist yet charming illustrations. The cover art really drew my attention and it’s definitely a book I would pick up in a store. I really adored how Gatsby portrayed so much emotion and character in his clean line work and muted colours.

An added extra that I enjoyed was that the two friends in this story are male and female. As an early childhood teacher I encourage children to build friendships with and develop positive views of other genders and it’s always exciting to find books that encourage this too.

Me Too is a lovely story about discovering new appreciation for your friends and how much they mean to you. It explores a sometimes difficult concept in a way children will be able to relate to through both the writing and illustrations. This book would make a great addition to any young child’s bookshelf.

Reviewed by Alana Bird

Me Too
by Erika Geraerts, Charl Laubscher, Gatsby
Published by Walker Books Australia
ISBN 9781925381900