Review Blog

Nov 04 2015

One thing by Lauren Child

cover image

Orchard books, 2015. ISBN 9781408339008
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Numbers, Family. Making numbers funny is quite a task, and Child achieves it with ease as her two protagonists Charlie and Lola get ready to go to the shops with Mum. She gives them ten minutes to get ready, but when Charlie works out all the things she must do in those ten minutes and how long each will take, she is nine minutes short. On the way to the shops, Lola asks how many ducks are following them, and the birds are counted, then the leaves in the tree. From single digits, one, two or three trucks, to tens of things to millions and squillions, each number is given a thing to be, ensuring the reader understands how big that number is in what it represents. A wonderful way to reinforce numbers and counting.
After their one hundred and fifty six steps to the shops, the girls debate what they are able to buy: is it one thing or two things. Mum gives them the choice of no thing, so one is settled. They then take eleven minutes to make up their minds, and when home, after Lola has used up all her stickers sticking them on a variety of numbered things in the street, debate whether Lola will have one of three badges from Charlie, and after being offered no thing, happily takes one thing, the title of the book.
This is a delight, I loved the way Child shows the number in numerical and written form, with the sequences of numbers one each page, the smallest to the largest being represented in a way younger readers will understand. It will be an infectious read, one children will want to hear read out loud to them over and over again. I laughed each time I read it, finding more things to look at, picking out more and more detail in the enticing illustrations.
Fran Knight

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