Book 4 : Charlie and Lola series’s My Best Friend

What’s the book about : (thank you Goodreads)

Lola and Lotta are best, best, BESTEST friends who do completely everything together. They always pair up, they look after the tadpoles in the pond, and they especially always swap lunches. But when Evie, a new girl, joins the class, suddenly it’s Evie whom Lotta does everything with, even lunch swapping. Lola tells her brother Charlie that she has lost her best friend forever, but Charlie isn’t so sure.

The always lively Lola is front-and-center in the latest escapade of the duo made popular by their successful Playhouse Disney show. Charlie and Lola’s unique style will charm existing fans and attract new readers to this especially likable series. 

Our thoughts..
 I am not sure children can fully comprehend the dynamics of friendship at the age of three , but this book did seem like a wonderful way to introduce ‘the arrival of a new friend affecting your best friend’s behavior’. I think such existential agnst is part of a much older kid’s school life ( maybe a 6-7 year old?).  Beanie calls all her classmates / people whom she has had a five-minute conversation with / kids  that she has met randomly in some park her friends , and I don’t think she really understands what it means for a new girl to ensnare (!!) your best friend. This book , however does a good job of illustrating that scenario.
That said, she loved the book and I think the cute-as-a-button illustrations played an important part in her loving the book as much as she did. This was a borrowed book , so it had to make an untimely exit from our home, but we still read it two-three times before we returned the book out.  The illustrations are so darn cute that you want to scoop them off the page and gobble them all up!  This is by far the most fun layout I have come across in a picture book , with three panels in a single page. I am not sure whether this was done to reduce the number of pages or if this was imitating the TV show that is based on the book. The illustrations are imaginative( especially the bit where the kids Lola and Lotta are shown as fishes themselves when they peep into the fish pond to look at the tadpoles).  The sentences are short, clean and crisp , so an early reader can easily navigate through the story without too much confusion.  For kids that have not yet started reading , the illustrations will definitely be a hook. I am so in love with the main characters Lola , Lotta and Charlie that I am going to show Beanie some of the TV episodes. Next on the agenda is to find out if stuff  watched on TV have the same impact on her as the ones I read out to her. 
I am so glad I took up this challenge for myself. I am rediscovering the joys of being a child 🙂 
Overall , an awesome fun read with great illustrations 

OUr Verdict
Bedazzled : OMG, way too cute
Beanie : Amma, can we read this book again? 

Handa’s surprise by Eileen Browne

The fifty-days Bookathon project.

 We ( Beanie , the daughter and I )are planning to read a book a day and blog about it for the next fifty days. Beanie  is three and can’t read yet , so I read to her. But I suspect she can identify clusters of words that she keeps seeing regularly. I thought I would be a Momazilla, but I have discovered that I not too demanding  . I just want her to learn at her pace. But increasingly I find that I need to do more research to keep her engaged as she is an extremely inquisitive kid . Hence this project.  This  book is an old favorite, but  I thought  that it would be the perfect book to  blog about and review this old ‘khandar’:) .  I will also be posting all the crafty stuff Beanie and I are going to indulge ourselves in as  a way to chronicle her milestones. Beanie  is a total DIY mini crafter and loves  activities that involve pasting and  cutting. And I am one happy mommy 🙂

Here is an attempt to document all the books that the daughter, Beanie and I enjoy reading together.

Book name : Handa’s surprise

Author : Eileen Browne

Book source : owned


Handa puts seven delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo. But as she walks, carrying the basket on her head, various creatures steal her fruits. A monkey takes the banana, an ostrich the guava, a zebra the orange, an elephant the mango, a giraffe the pineapple, an antelope the avocado and a parrot the passion fruit. Handa walks on, wondering which of the fruits her friend will like best, oblivious to the fact that her basket is now empty. But then, behind her, a goat charges into a tangerine tree and fills Handa’s basket with the fruit. “Hello, Akeyo,” she greets her friend. “I’ve brought you a surprise.” But when she lifts off her basket, it’s Handa who gets the biggest surprise. Akeyo, meanwhile, is delighted, because tangerines are her favourite fruit! Eileen Browne also created “Through My Window” which was shortlisted for the Smarties Book Prize (1986), “No Problem”, “Tick Tock” and “Where’s my Bus?”.

Our thoughts 

I loved the simple prose that went along with the vibrant and beautiful illustrations. Simply breathtaking brush strokes that brings the African Savanah alive! The surprise element at the end is rather cute too. Needless to say , Beanie loved this book to bits, as she does anything that has vibrant illustrations in it . The words are easy and the flow is amazing. Great way to introduce them to fruits and animal that are found in Africa.The story-line is engaging so that 3 year olds can easily follow it. There were a few fruits that Beanie didn’t know from the list initially  (like the tangerine and avacado) , but now she knows the book almost by-heart.  I introduced her to this book almost a year back when she was more keen looking at the pictures and pointing at the animals. Now , she is  interested in ‘what happens next’ and the ‘story element’ .  There are lots of activities that can be planned around this book . 

Verdict : 
Bedazzled : ‘What a bloody brilliant book!’ 
Beanie : ‘Amma, I love it!’
Perfect for : 3-4 year olds 
A soaring Hi-five 🙂