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4.4 out of 5 stars
294
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2005
My son (3) and daughter (5) saw this in the bookshop, recognized Axel Scheffer's style and pleaded with me to read it there and then. So I did and we all loved it. Donaldson's books are always great and usually fantastic. This one is definitely at the top end of this spectrum. The story moves, with trademark rhythm and rhyme, along a bookshelf and in each a character is reading..from the next one... so in the book Charlie reads, a character is reading a book and so on until the story comes full circle via pirates, burglars, aliens, a friendly ghost, Goldilocks, royalty with a giant cake birthday cake. Each theme appeals to preschool children, and each book visited looks different and inviting, and it is great for boys especially. Although it's a clever concept the story is straightforward, and it seems less wordy than, say, The Gruffalo. The children love flicking back to the very beginning and following the progress of the story on the end-papers. And let's be honest, so do I! A must-have for all children of 2-5.
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on 20 February 2006
My three-year-old daughter got this book for her birthday from someone who spotted that she was a big fan of Donaldson's Gruffalo books. It has the same melodic rhyming text as those, and a unique story:
Charlie Cook's favourite book is about a pirate - who finds a book on a desert island that is about a....
And so each double spread is a mini story of its own, and they all link together and eventually come full circle.
Whilst my daughter likes the characters and the stories, she's too young (at the moment) to notice all the detail. A book being read by a baddie in prison has got loads of quirky doodles in the margin, and a book found by a crocodile has got teeth marks in the corner - very clever.
Every time we read it I always see something new - and I'm always tickled by a great rhyme with 'encyclopaedia'.
Highly enjoyable at every reading (and I've done lots!)
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HALL OF FAMEon 24 March 2006
This is a story about a story - something children under 3 probably won't get but which those over it will love. A small boy reads his favourite book, a pirate tale in which another character reads their own favourite book, and so on - until CHarlie himself appears back in someone else's favourite book. It's a little like the Ahlbergs' classic, Each Peach, Pear, Plum in that it plays with fairytale characters such as Goldilocks; and a little like their It Was A Dark & Stormy Night. What it's really about is the pleasure of reading, but children will just love it for its rollocking rhymes ands Scheffler's bright, funny, magical pictures - stuffed with the kind of detail that is fun to spot. One to read again and again before bedtime!
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on 17 February 2005
Once you discover the glossary in the back, giving the English equivalent for the Giant's language that is scattered throughout the text, the book is truly a joy to read with your child! There is a unique richness to the language used in the book and there are opportunities for speculative thought processes for the children in nearly every page, making for exciting reading. I would highly recommend this 'Jack and the Beanstalk'-type-story, from the Giant's persective. Great for girls & boys alike.
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on 22 May 2006
This is still a good book, still excellent rhyme, but it just doesn't have the excitement of Gruffalo or "Room on the broom".
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on 9 August 2007
Marvellous childrens story from a superb children's story teller - does exactly what it says on the cover, tells you all about Charlie's favourite book. A wonderful rhyming tale supported by some fantastic illustrations. This book is bed time gold. Julia Donaldson's work is like a sedative for young children, it always get the young uns off to sleep & they are so addicted to the stories, it's just fantastic ! Julia Donaldson is one of the best things to have happened for parents, since those two heaven sent inventions, the dummy & Calpol (God bless her !)
Marvellous in every way.
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2006
This is a great book - I bought it from a catalogue as the concept appealed to me and you can't go far wrong with a Julia Donaldson. In a nutshell, a big giant girl climbs down a beanstalk and takes a few human children home and puts them to live in the dolls house from which they escape, adventuring on the way. It's a lovely story for both boys and girls from about 5 and one they'll keep re-reading til they get to secondary school. I read it to my daughter (5 and a half) who loved it. There are pictures at the beginning of each chapter, enough to give her a handle to pin her own imagination too. She was completely taken with the idea of another language, especially one quite so silly (though guesssable in context) as `iggly plop' for humans, strimpchogger, bobbaleely and squerple, for lawn mower, baby and worm respectively. If you think you child would like the borrowers biut thats a bit old-fashioned, this is equally appealing but written for today's children. Superb!
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on 2 January 2007
We recently bought this book for our 2 1/2 year old daughter and we all fell in love with it. The illustrations are wonderful, allowing you to discover something new everytime you read it. The rhymes are great, too, not at all awkward, although, saying that, some basic reading skills would be handy.

The story itself is very entertaining and a bit different to your average children's book, which makes it even more enjoyable.

This book deserves five stars for lovely pictures, great rhymes and the joy of being able to read it again and again without getting bored!
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on 1 April 2009
I am reading this book to my six year old twin daughters. They love the occasional use of 'giant language', and have amazing recall of what the words mean - but they also like looking words up in the glossary, which can make the bedtime story a bit longer than usual! You have been warned.

It's a great story, and good to read something unusual.
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on 14 September 2009
Oh Dear, I love Julia Donaldson too, I have quite a collection now but, I don't like the story at all, infact its creepy and alittle absurd even for me. I am reading it to my 5 year old and 3 year old, but have stopped reading it to my 3 year old as I just don't think its appropriate and even with my 5 year old I am changing some things around!
There is a chapter where the mean brother Zab has the Iggly Plopps and hes playing with them in the bath tub the Chapters called 'The Icy Lake' and I just think its awkward for me to read, must be so scary to listen too (at age 5)... I think Poppy is 2 and Colette and Stephen are around 9 and 11, and I just don't think there adventures are appropriate for little ones ears!! 'The Battle Jar' where Zab is shouting KILL KILL KILL and the 'Monster On The Bed', where Poppy (a 2 year old is mauled by the kitten and blood is dripping from her body, thats just wrong in my opinion for little ears, there is also another chapter where buries them up to there necks in the sand and leaves them, then Zab is driving a remote controlled car and is crashing it into the walls on purpose, and every time Colette is smashing her head on the windshield and is bruised and bleeding 'ouch' come on, not nice...So I guess what I am saying is, maybe next time it would have been better to have an idea about how old a child must be to listen to this story...as I have said I have quite a collection of Julia Donaldson books so I thought this was along the same lines, but it definately is not and I would not recommend it for a 5 year old!!
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