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Charlie Cook's Favorite Book


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Julia Donaldson lives in Glasgow, Scotland.


Another charmer from the duo behind The Gruffalo, this circular tale begins and ends with young Charlie Cook sitting in a brightly-colored armchair reading his favorite book about a pirate. At each turn of the page, one book effortlessly leads to another. Each new narrative tells just enough of its story to intrigue and not enough to entangle, and the tale always ends with yet another book. Thus, Charlie's favorite book (Shiver Me Timbers), for instance, stars a pirate who finds a book in a treasure chest (Fairy Tales from a Forgotten Island). The pirate's favorite book features a story about Goldilocks lying in baby bear's bed reading his favorite book (The Bearo Annual), which includes a story about Sir Percy, who reads a book (Joust Joking!) to a dragon and so on. The story ends by circling back to a book "about a cozy armchair,/ and a boy called Charlie Cook." Scheffler's endpapers cleverly feature all 11 titles cited, plunked on a shelf guarded by bookend knights, and in the final image, Charlie is surrounded by the characters who appear in the previous stories. Preschoolers may find the post-modern touches difficult to grasp, but for older readers, this comical and entertaining book is bound to become a read-aloud favorite. Ages 3-5. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

K-Gr 2-A boy curls up in a cozy chair to enjoy his favorite book, whereupon readers are whisked away on a trip through different types of literature. The story assumes a "book within a book" format, as a turn of the page takes youngsters inside Charlie's pirate adventure. Here the layout resembles an open novel, with the title Shiver Me Timbers emblazoned across the top. A pirate digs up a treasure chest that contains-you guessed it-a book. Another page turn reveals that it is a collection of fairy tales, as Baby Bear finds Goldilocks in his bed reading his favorite story about a knight and a dragon. This pattern continues until the action returns to Charlie, still in his armchair, now surrounded by all of the characters. The spreads cleverly reflect the featured tales, and the endpapers show all of the volumes lined up on a shelf. Unfortunately, the loosely rhyming text is awkward to read aloud and the transitions often seem forced. Youngsters are ultimately left looking for more substance to accompany Scheffler's humorous, brightly colored cartoons. For a story that celebrates reading, try Michael Garland's Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook (Dutton, 2003), which deftly delivers hilarious, quirky tales.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

?Another charmer from the duo behind The Gruffalo.? "?Publishers Weekly"

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