If the author of this book sounds familiar to you, I’m guessing you probably have at least one fan of Charlie and Lola in your house. Chipmunk was around two or three when that show started on CBeebies, and he became hooked right away. He couldn’t get enough of the TV show, the books, the DVDs – everything! The idea was as old as the hills, but Child’s take on the brother/sister relationship was so fresh and new – and funny!
Chipmunk still likes Charlie and Lola but, at seven (and with a reading age of at least fourteen) is starting to need much more of a challenge in his books. It is really, really tough to find a book that is both demanding academically, while being suitable for a child of his age. Clarice Bean fits the bill to perfection.
Chipmunk spotted this Clarice Bean book when we were in Waterstones one day, and was drawn to it immediately. He recognised the style of illustration on the cover (Child’s work is instantly identifiable to anyone who has seen it before) and would not leave the store without the book! So, I bought it. Of course I did!
We read it together over a couple of weeks – and I think it’s safe to say that I loved it as much as him! Don’t Look Now deals with life, family and friendship from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl with a great sense of humour – and a penchant for using eversovery extremely long and drawn-out sentences (just like Lola!). She is a bit of a loner, but that’s ok – so is Chipmunk! She also has firm friendships, and a great attitude to life. Also just like Chipmunk. Oh, and she wants to be a spy – I’m not sure Chipmunk is quite there with her on that one yet…give it time!
The two of us were in fits of giggles reading this book. Child really makes you care about Clarice and her friends – and I have to admit that I did not see the twist in the tale coming at all! Chipmunk also delighted in the wonderful illustrations across the pages, and the way little bits of information are tucked into the margins or along the sides – making you turn the book inside out to read them…just like with Charlie and Lola. But while there are many similarities, Child is definitely moving away from the brother/sister duo into a slightly more ‘grown-up’ style of story-telling.
I don’t really want to say too much more, for fear of giving the story away. Suffice it to say that I think every child (and parent) needs to get to know Clarice Bean – she will bring joy and laughter to your house, and you won’t be sorry you let her in. As for Chipmunk and I – well, we have the next two books all ready to read
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Chipmunk’s Verdict: Absolutely wonderful, it has to be a five-star book.
Overall Verdict: Eversovery extremely absolutely wonderfully awesome! Read it.