Book Reviews

Book review: I Am Too Absolutely Small for School

Written by ceditor

When very young, no kid wants to attend school, especially when they haven’t been there yet. However, Lauren Child’s I Am Too Absolutely Small for School shows you the importance of school in a youngster’s life.

What makes this classic Charlie and Lola picture so good that one shouldn’t miss it? Unlike books debating the importance of schools, this one is a healthy dialogue between two siblings, who discuss the importance of school in one’s life. While Charlie the narrator explains the pros of the institution, the sister Lola raises some valid points that might even make an adult think.

In this hardcover book, the reader is Lola, and the author is Charlie, and their discussion is stuff that can be labelled as solid gold. In Lola’s defence, she says that since she can count to ten, being taught mathematics would be a waste of time; in her mind, letters are out of fashion, and in the presence of a telephone, no one needs to send mail.

But when the brother counters it with logic, Lola has to take a step back, and it is with that process that the author manages to make a child understand why attending school is important. And yes, there is also Lola’s invisible friend Soren Lorensen who she blames as the ‘real’ one who is nervous about going to school.

This book’s narration is as friendly as a kindergarten teacher’s; imagine a very sympathetic teacher dealing with a child’s fear surrounding the first day at school and the result is this book. If you have a child or a younger sibling at home, and they aren’t enthusiastic about going to school, let Charlie and Lola handle it.

As for the learning stuff, from the first page to the last, this book has illustrations of the two primary characters as well as the things they talk about. Don’t be surprised if you see ten different kinds of biscuits on one page and 15 Lolas dressed in school uniform, because this is the best way to convince the readers. Add to that the hilarious tone of discussion and Lola’s mispronounced words — like ‘schooliform’ — and you have a book that you can’t put down until it has served its purpose.

You may have not met Charlie and Lola in real life, but the way they teach you to move ahead in life makes them nothing short of a mentor. Thanks to the author Lauren Child, they are here to stay and guide you in more endeavours in the future!

Umair Alavi – Dawn, Young World

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