Review Blog

Aug 07 2018

Charlie by Ronojoy Gosh

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Puffin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780143785026
(Ages: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Lions. Appearance. Zoos. Illustrator of highly acclaimed picture book I'm Australian too (Mem Fox) and author of several picture books, Ronojoy has developed a wider use of his skills after many years in advertising. In Charlie, a lion who loves good food and art and the beach, finds that when he takes the bus somewhere, people are afraid of him and shy away. He does not like to frighten people so decides to wear a disguise. This he does with much success, going to the beach and the art gallery and into restaurants without a qualm. In the art gallery he is able to stand next to many portraits of people with a disguise such as his, while in art classes he is able to hold his own with the other participants. At the aquarium, he feels sorry for the penguins so knits them all a coat. His stomach begins to grumble while he is out watching stars and he goes to a fine restaurant where he eats a splendid meal, while afterwards he needs to find somewhere to wash his disguise now full of the remnants of his meal.
Back at the Zoo for the night, he is satisfied that all has gone well, he has had a terrific day and looks forward to new adventures tomorrow.
Readers will enjoy watching Charlie's antics as he dons his disguise and begins to do things that lions certainly do not do, laughing with him as he tries to blend into the groups of people. His disguise is seen in different places in the book so will cause readers to seek them out, while classes may like to make the disguise themselves and wear it while reading.
Discussing disguises, children may make the link to being different and blending in, of the disguises we wear each day so that we do not stand out.
Fran Knight

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