Age Range: 4 to 7
But excuse ME THAT is my book is one of our favourite Charlie and Lola stories. Charlie, Lola and Lotta visit the library and introduce us to a variety of books as well as the concepts of borrowing a book, books being shelved according to the alphabet and being quiet in a library.
The Story: Lola loves Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies but can’t find it in the library. Charlie and Lotta try to persuade her to read something else but Lola says that no other book is as good as ‘her book’. Just as Lola agrees to borrow Cheetahs and Chimpanzees she sees a little girl with Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies. Can she still be persuaded to borrow Cheetahs and Chimpanzees?
Lola’s obsession with a particular book will be familiar to parents who are repeatedly asked to read the same story. Despite being a library copy Lola is convinced that Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies is her book and doesn’t want to consider the fact that other books can be as enjoyable to borrow and read. It’s hard for her to see another girl with her book and she gives lots of excuses as to why she can’t borrow the books that Charlie shows her.
Lauren Child’s trademark illustrations take Charlie and Lola inside the pages of the books and include them flying in a helicopter and meeting a chimpanzee. My daughter’s favourite illustration shows a beetle lying on his back and I love the picture of Charlie and Lola sitting on a sofa reading their books together. The text is conversational and easy to read, the concept of trying something new and the experiences of a library visit are woven into the dialogue.
Booktrust chose But excuse ME THAT is my book to give to children starting school in the UK in 2013. It is a great book to use in the classroom to stimulate discussion about visiting a library, the different kinds of books that you can borrow and how books are ordered on the shelves. Lola’s description of why she loves Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies could also be used as a stimulus for children to write their own book reviews.
We love the way that Charlie and Lola introduce us to libraries in this story, many of their stories introduce children to familiar experiences. Do you have a favourite Charlie and Lola story?
Author / Illustrator: Lauren Child