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4.8 out of 5 stars
Charlie and Lola: I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2001
Charlie has a little sister called Lola and, like many small children, Lola has a long list of foods that she doesn't like. So, when Charlie has to feed her dinner, he resorts to tricking her into eating things that she will not eat - ever! Great illustrations, fantastic characters and a situation that all parents (and children) can identify with. My four year old son absolutely adores the story and is now more willing to try food that he would never touch before - it was worth buying the book just for that! I really like Lauren Child's characters - not too cute, vibrant and enthusiastic. My son requests this story more than any other and really loves the author's other books too - thank you for something different!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2005
Charlie's sister Lola is a very fussy eater. She will *not* eat peas, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and most other foods.
In this story, Charlie is left in charge of Lola at dinner time. He tricks her into eating by pretending that carrots are actually 'orange twiglets from Jupiter', etc. In this way, he manages to get Lola to eat all her food, even her moonsquirters (tomatoes).
I really enjoyed this book and think that mums and dads could copy these tricks for their children!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2012
As the first of the Charlie and Lola books, 'I will not ever never eat a tomato' has to be one of the most read childrens books in our house. My son loved the pictures, colours and sound of the story before he could talk. His response to the story was always so positive - we found ourselves reading it most evenings. However, once he could specifically ask for it, this became every evening without fail, for some time!

Any parent will tell you this is not uncommon - children lock into books and love repetition - the big '5 star' difference here is that I enjoyed reading it every night too! As my son developed his speech and understanding, they way we read the story developed too. He now 'reads' (like Lola - from memory) along with me - regularly shouting out his favourite parts about not eating tomatoes!

Similarly, the benefits have not been just his involvement with books. The story revolves around Charlie having to feed his little sister, a very fussy eater, her dinner. Lola doesn't like anything - particularly peas, fishfingers, potatoes, carrots and of course tomatoes - so Charlie must find ingenious ways to convince his sister to try the different foods. For instance, peas become 'green drops from Greenland' and are 'incredibly rare' peaking Lola's interest in the food.

This has worked an absolute treat with feeding time for my son too - he wants to try all the food Lola eats!

This book actually and easily promotes a healthy diet and a healthy mind, with beautiful, creative and very colourful artwork!

Can't recommend it enough!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2002
As I was babysitting my 4 year old nephew at Christmas, and he is a fussy eater, I thought this would be a good 'story for bedtime'. I must admit when I previewed it before his visit I thought some of the illustrations were a little odd, but these 'oddities' were the parts that drew his attention the most. The author obviously knows what's going on in a childs mind. It made my babysitting an extremely enjoyable experience, so much so that I'm doing it again very soon, with the help of the next book entitled 'I am not sleepy and I will not go to bed'. Keep them coming please Lauren!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There aren't many bad things about having more than one child. The prospect of repeated re-reads of the same stories that the last child has just grown out of (in our case, I guess it was probably the Usborne "Apple Tree Farm" books) is one minor negative.

However, Charlie and Lola appeared after the birth of our last child, and so we were able to add these books to our bookshelf. Lauren Child's illustrations are utterly charming, and the text captures the "special" spoken form of a cheeky pre-schooler ("I will never not ever eat a tomato!").

This book is about Lola's fussy eating habits, which her brother Charlie manages to overcome with the sort of subterfuge that will be familiar to many a parent (we managed to persuade a child to eat tuna and pasta by telling her it was tuna and conchiglie, which was at least true!).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2004
This story depicts a fastidious sister and her witty brother. Lola is Charlie's little sister; she is always fussy about her food. It is hard for Charlie to give Lola her dinner, because she can always find some ludicrous or comical reason to refuse to eat anything she dislikes. One day, Charlie played a trick on Lola. Charlie with his excellent eloquence persuaded Lola to eat some of the food that she would not normally ever taste.
Vivid similes and evidence of a vast imagination is found in this amusing book. This is helpful for young children to cultivate their creative thinking.Generally speaking, the text is delightful. You can try to read aloud slowly the words for things that Lola hates to eat, in order to enhance the fun by the way you read them. Through the conversations between Charlie and Lola, we can see Charlie's trickery is successful.
Vibrant illustrations are a perfect match for this funny story. Different forms of typographical characters and the winding layout of sentences aptly reflect the character of Lola and Charlie. However, when I read this book the first time, I was really surprised at the illustrations, because some of them are drawings and some of them are photographs. Although sometimes the drawings and photographs are a little bit quirky, they are well suited to the text.
This book is suitable both for children and for adults who have to deal with fussy eaters for whom the book gives ideas to imitate, in a way that will make them laugh!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2003
I brought this book for my children 2 years ago,when they were aged 4 and 2 and they stil love it now.
Great story line about a fussy eater and how she is encoraged to eat by her brother charlie who pretends mash potatoes are cloud fluff and carrots are orange twiglets etc.also has lovely pictures.Can't wait for the next book to be released about lola and Charlie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2007
As the (now BBC-powered) Charlie and Lola juggenaut rolls on it is worth remembering that this is where it all started.

A deserving winner of the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal for 'distinguished illustration in a book for children' this book would nevertheless not work nearly as well without the author's uncanny ability to get inside a child's mind and wrap the result in such disarmingly charming prose.

The story is narrated in the first person by Charlie establishing a very firm child's perspective from the outset. Additionally the absence of adults from the storyline other than by reference (a la the famous 'Peanuts' strips by Charles Schultz) serves to seal the story almost hermetically into a children's world allowing them to explore, seemingly without inhibition, this often angst-ridden theme.

I must have read this story to Alice (now 3 1/2) over a hundred times over the last three years, and despite her having watched it countless times on DVD as well there seems to be no end in sight for its run of popularity.

If you want Charlie and Lola in book form this is absolutely the place to start. If you like this I would also recommend "I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go To Bed" and "I Am Too Absolutely Small For School". The books that follow are reverse-engineered from the scripts of the TV episodes (and not even written by Lauren Child!) and in my opinion do not work well in book form, becoming tediously repetitive "Lola says ... so I say ..., so Lola says ..." etc. ad nauseam.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2000
As many parents know, "green drops from Greenland" can sound ever so much more attractive than plain old green peas. Clever Charlie manages to get her little sister Lola to enthusiastically eat a nutritious meal. Cute collage-type illustrations. My 7 year old son read it, and came to tell me how funny he thought it was. I think so too...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2004
This story of Charlie's search for a food that his younger sister Lola will eat is absolutely charming, written and illustrated with wit and understanding. Adults and children alike will enjoy seeing real toddler behaviour subtly exaggerated. Young children may be helped to view their own behaviour more objectively, while older children will sympathise with Charlie's sense of responsibility for a difficult (but imaginative and never malicious) younger sibling.
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