Charlie Cook's Favorite Book

Charlie Cook's Favorite Book

5.0 3
by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

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A clever and funny ode to reading and books from the creators of The Gruffalo.

Charlie Cook has a favorite book. It's about a pirate, who also has a favorite book . . . about Goldilocks, who also has a favorite book . . . about a knight, who also has a favorite book. . . . This hilarious pattern continues throughout the story, right to the surprising


A clever and funny ode to reading and books from the creators of The Gruffalo.

Charlie Cook has a favorite book. It's about a pirate, who also has a favorite book . . . about Goldilocks, who also has a favorite book . . . about a knight, who also has a favorite book. . . . This hilarious pattern continues throughout the story, right to the surprising conclusion. Told in rollicking rhyme, this tale is sure to please the read-aloud crowd.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Another charmer from the duo behind The Gruffalo, this circular tale begins and ends with young Charlie Cook sitting in a brightly-colored armchair reading his favorite book about a pirate. At each turn of the page, one book effortlessly leads to another. Each new narrative tells just enough of its story to intrigue and not enough to entangle, and the tale always ends with yet another book. Thus, Charlie's favorite book (Shiver Me Timbers), for instance, stars a pirate who finds a book in a treasure chest (Fairy Tales from a Forgotten Island). The pirate's favorite book features a story about Goldilocks lying in baby bear's bed reading his favorite book (The Bearo Annual), which includes a story about Sir Percy, who reads a book (Joust Joking!) to a dragon and so on. The story ends by circling back to a book "about a cozy armchair,/ and a boy called Charlie Cook." Scheffler's endpapers cleverly feature all 11 titles cited, plunked on a shelf guarded by bookend knights, and in the final image, Charlie is surrounded by the characters who appear in the previous stories. Preschoolers may find the post-modern touches difficult to grasp, but for older readers, this comical and entertaining book is bound to become a read-aloud favorite. Ages 3-5. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ann Sanger
Opening with the classic, "Once upon a time." the journey begins as Charlie Cook reads a book about a pirate who discovers a treasure chest. Inside the treasure chest is a book about three bears who come across Goldilocks looking at Little Bear's favorite book about a knight who is sharing a joke book. And so on and so forth until the reader is treated to bits of eleven different books; ending with a ghost reading her favorite book about a cozy armchair and a boy called Charlie Cook. The illustrations are bold and bright with the wrap-around cover of the book incorporating most of the key characters of each story. The endpapers skillfully depict a wooden shelf lined with life-sized book bindings. While inside the pages of the story, it appears that another book is lying on top of the book you are reading. The yellowed torn edges of the pirate story have the book title on one page and the chapter heading on the other. My First Encyclopedia has dogged-eared pages with definitions and illustrations in columns down the side. Other pages bring to mind your favorite fairy tale or magazine. Charming and witty, this picture book ends with all the characters standing around Charlie's chair while he is reading. Even adults and older students would find humor in this circular tale. A great read-aloud to instill the joy of reading; this book could also be useful for teaching genre.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A boy curls up in a cozy chair to enjoy his favorite book, whereupon readers are whisked away on a trip through different types of literature. The story assumes a "book within a book" format, as a turn of the page takes youngsters inside Charlie's pirate adventure. Here the layout resembles an open novel, with the title Shiver Me Timbers emblazoned across the top. A pirate digs up a treasure chest that contains-you guessed it-a book. Another page turn reveals that it is a collection of fairy tales, as Baby Bear finds Goldilocks in his bed reading his favorite story about a knight and a dragon. This pattern continues until the action returns to Charlie, still in his armchair, now surrounded by all of the characters. The spreads cleverly reflect the featured tales, and the endpapers show all of the volumes lined up on a shelf. Unfortunately, the loosely rhyming text is awkward to read aloud and the transitions often seem forced. Youngsters are ultimately left looking for more substance to accompany Scheffler's humorous, brightly colored cartoons. For a story that celebrates reading, try Michael Garland's Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook (Dutton, 2003), which deftly delivers hilarious, quirky tales.-Jill Heritage Maza, Conn Elementary, Raleigh, NC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This author/illustrator team's latest is a circular tale about reading, about stories and about how, in life, they often intersect. Eleven books in one, this begins with Charlie Cook perched upon a chair reading his favorite book. It's about a pirate forced to walk the plank, who swims to an island and finds a treasure chest containing a book. In it is the story of Goldilocks, who Baby Bear finds in bed reading his favorite book-a tale of dragons and knights. The knight postpones fighting the dragon to tell a joke . . . from his favorite book. And so it continues, until the final character's book, coincidentally about a boy named Charlie Cook. Masterfully rhymed, the rhythm is consistent throughout the various genres. Scheffler's artwork is perfect for the premise. The outline of each "book" and its pages border every spread. Colors and similar characters unify the illustrations, which, at the same time, are made to suit the individual subjects of the different "books." The endpapers are especially apropos-a bookshelf displays the spines of all the tales found within. A clever way of looking at the universality of reading. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.71(w) x 10.89(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Julia Donaldson lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Charlie Cook's Favorite Book 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old daughter and I are big fans of Room on the Broom so we enjoyed this book very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 3 year old son loves this book -- we read it every night. It's just very different than other books and very colorful graphics that must have captured his attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago