Age Range: 3 to 8
With Book Giving Day taking place in just over a week we’ve been reading some of our favourite books about books. Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book is ten years old this year and the anniversary edition includes some of Axel Scheffler’s original artwork and an updated cover.
The Story: Charlie Cook is curled up in an armchair with his favourite book. The character in his story, a pirate, also has a favourite book. Goldilocks, the character in the pirate’s favourite book, also has a favourite book in which her book character also has a favourite book. So it goes on until the last ghostly character’s favourite book which is about Charlie Cook.
Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book is a real celebration of book love and includes characters that children will identify with, including the pirate, Goldilocks, a frog, a greedy crocodile, a wicked jewel thief and an astronaut. Through the different characters the reader is also introduced to different types of book e.g fairytales, joke books, non fiction books, encyclopaedias and magazines. Libraries and bookshops also get a mention in the story,
Axel Scheffler’s great illustrations complement the easy to read rhyming text which ensures that the reader keeps turning the page to see who the next character will be and what their book will be about. I love the picture where Goldilocks is so absorbed in her book that she doesn’t notice that the three bears are behind her and my daughter is fascinated by the headless ghost. Identical endpapers show all the books arranged on a bookcase so you can read all the book titles, we love The Bearo Annual and Joust Joking.
The variety of reading material that is introduced in Charlie Cook’s story makes this a great book to use to stimulate discussions about what kinds of books and magazines children like to read. I have read the story to classes of children of various primary ages. Then we’ve looked at different kinds of books before sorting them into categories. Each kind of book can be used to stimulate a different literacy activity, for example making a class joke book, writing a page for a class encyclopaedia (including putting the list of topics in alphabetical order and creating an index) or creating a school or class magazine.
This is a fun rhyming story that celebrates the power and enjoyment of books and reading.
Author: Julia Donaldson / Illustrator: Axel Scheffler