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Laura Charlotte

Laura Charlotte

5.0 3
by Kathryn O. Galbraith, Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)

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Warm, gentle humor and glowing illustrations bring to life the intergenerational story of a little gray flannel elephant and the two little girls who, separated by time, loved it.


Warm, gentle humor and glowing illustrations bring to life the intergenerational story of a little gray flannel elephant and the two little girls who, separated by time, loved it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A girl who is afraid to go to sleep asks for the familiar story of Charlotte, her handmade stuffed elephant. It is the mother's own story, and though it is late, she tells it to her daughter. When she was five, her grandmother made her an elephant out of sewing box scraps and she named it Charlotte, ``the prettiest name in the world.'' There is some confusion about the generations--sometimes it's unclear just which grandmother is which--but Galbraith has written a gently reassuring story about the love that spans generations and is handed down with toys. It is also a tale of a girl getting older and outgrowing the need for a stuffed playmate and protector, but who nonetheless is saving it for her own child. Cooper's ( Grandpa's Face ) somber-toned illustrations envelop the reader in their warmth as they capture the mood of summer nights and cozy bedrooms. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- A warm, family-history story, temperamentally akin to Ehrlich's Zeek Silver Moon (Dial, 1972) or Jarrell's exquisite The Knee-Baby (Farrar, 1973). Laura, still awake in bed, asks her mother to tell her again the story of Charlotte, the stuffed elephant who links Mama's childhood with her own. Mama complies with pleasure, reliving her early life with Charlotte and her quiet joy in passing on a gift of love to her daughter. Laura knows just how the story goes, and prompts her mother with the telling, from Charlotte's first arrival as a birthday gift, through Mama's nighttime rescue of her lost elephant, to Laura's own welcome arrival and Charlotte's new place in her life. The story's simple declarations and sure details draw readers into an authentic shared familiarity. Cooper's pictures are endearing, filling the pages with photographlike re-creations of Mama's past and of the story's present. The twilight colors, rendered with high graininess, perfectly suit the moods of bedtime and of reminiscence. The conversations and the time shifts, while smoothly integrated, make this most comfortable for one-on-one sharing, but with the right reader, it would work well for story times, too. --Karen Litton, London Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sandcastle Series
Product dimensions:
8.96(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.10(d)
480L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 Years

Customer Reviews

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Laura Charlotte 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was my absolute favorite book as a child! I'm studying to be an elementary school teacher now, and I am definitely going to include this book in my classroom library!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter found this in her school library when she was 5. She didn't want to give it back and keeps checking it out. She is now 6. She thinks the school has forgetton she has it and wants to keep it. The ethics here may be at question but I think it endorses the book. If your child has a special stuffed animal and they love hearing about your life they will absolutely love this book - hopfully not enough to steal it but that is another story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter has chosen this title enough times from the library that I am finally buying it for her (us) for Christmas. One of the critic reviews mentioned that there was some confusion about the four generations of women, but I disagree. The great-grandma makes and sends the elephant for her granddaughter's birthday. The grandmother makes her daughter's birthday cake and mends the elephant when she loses an ear. The mother tells the story, her story, to her daughter, who now owns the elephant. Okay, maybe I've made it confusing, but at the end of the book there is a picture of the four woman and my three year old can decipher who is who. I get goose-bumps everytime I read it with my daughter who could recite its detailed paragraphs after a few readings at the age of three. The story and pictures are breathtaking. A great book that will encourage the female family bond and the passing down of our own stories and heirlooms.