Shy Charles

Shy Charles

1.0 2
by Rosemary Wells
     
 

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Charles is a mouse of few words. He doesn’t like to talk, and he’s perfectly happy playing by himself. But his parents are not happy. “It’s time he played football or joined the ballet,” says Charles’s father. So off Charles goes to ballet class, where he curls up and pretends to be asleep. Football proves even less successful.

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Overview

Charles is a mouse of few words. He doesn’t like to talk, and he’s perfectly happy playing by himself. But his parents are not happy. “It’s time he played football or joined the ballet,” says Charles’s father. So off Charles goes to ballet class, where he curls up and pretends to be asleep. Football proves even less successful. Will anything bring Charles out of his shell?

“A nicely told fable as helpful for their parents as for shy children in need of respect.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Wells has a time-tested talent for taking a keenly felt emotion—in this case shyness—and exploring it in a manner that is reassuring to young listeners.”
—Booklist

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Charles is as happy as he could be,'' but he is so shy he won't thank Mrs. Belinski for a treat, and he refuses to play with Wanda Sue or answer the phone. ``This can't go on,'' says Charles' father, but all attempts to nudge mousy Charles into action backfire. When Charles is enrolled in ballet class, he hides near a potted plant and pretends to be asleep. And when his father buys him a football helmet with silver wings, Charles ends up having to be carried off the field in disgrace. Then Mrs. Block, his babysitter, falls down the stairs and shy Charles efficiently handles the emergency all by himself. Wells' rhyming text is spare and clever and she shows an acute understanding of the painfully shy child. Whether Charles is anxiously peering out from underneath his helmet or eyeing the fearsome telephone, readers will find this quiet hero and his winsome smile beguilingproof that shyness does not preclude competence. Ages 4-8. (September)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Charles is as quiet as a mouseand it doesn't bother him one bit. His rodent parents try everything from bribery to scolding, from ballet to football, but Charles resists all of their efforts to make him become more outgoing. It isn't until he is faced with the emergency of an injured babysitter that he springs into action and saves the day, only to revert to his shyness when his parents return. Wells' illustrations, in the familiar style of her Stanley and Rhoda (1978) and Hazel's Amazing Mother (1985, both Dial) show the plump, large-eared cast to be full of charm and cleverness. Facial expressions, posture, and background details substantially extend the humor of the story. The simple rhythm of the rhyming text is subtle and playful. It is refreshing that Wells offers no sudden transformation of Charles, nor does she propose any easy solution to his situation. Instead, she present a welcome portrayal of a common trait in young children with empathy and respect. Starr LaTronica, North Berkeley Library, Calif.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140568431
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
464,943
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
370L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Shy Charles 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
KELoves2Read 25 days ago
If I could give zero stars, I would. This is a terrible book to read to children. When Shy Charles is too afraid to say thank you to a store clerk, his mother says "I'm embarrassed" and follows that with "You're lucky I'm nice, another mother would spank you." REALLY? Shy Charles is belittled throughout the book. I stopped reading it to my granddaughter because the message to children is terrible. If you want a lesson in how NOT to parent any child, let alone a shy one, go ahead and waste your $6 but if I were you, I'd skip it all together. Try Maya's voice for a much better book which focuses on helping a child find her voice in a kind and loving way. I will be returning this book because I don't want anyone to earn money from something so awful.
kattwin1 More than 1 year ago
I HATED this book...thus, here is my first scathing book review ever! I have a child in my 4K class with Selective Mutism. In an attempt to find books I could read to the class to help them understand shyness in general, I checked "Shy Charles" out from my library. It is a TERRIBLE book; I did NOT dare read it to my class. If you want to make a shy child feel like there is something inherently WRONG with them for being quiet, read to them this book. If you want to perpetuate negative stereotypes of shy children, read this book. If you want an example of the kind of book you certainly should NEVER read to ANY child, shy or not, then read this book. In the book, Charles is consistently pressured by his parents (who CLEARLY don't understand the correct way to deal with children suffering from shyness and other social anxiety disorders) to speak. When Charles does not say goodbye to a store clerk, his mother actually tells him, "I'm so embarrassed...you never say goodbye or thank you. Lucky for you that I'm so nice. Another mother would spank you!" His parents force Charles to take ballet AND football when, obviously, Charles is uncomfortable in both highly social situations. After seeing Charles' inadequacy on the field, Charles' football coach says, "He doesn't look so well to me. Take him home and put him to bed." Because Charles was kicked off the team, Charles' father then resorts to name-calling and says, "Charles! You're a jelly roll! You're just a cowardly custard. You're like a sandwich without the bread, not to mention the ham and mustard. How will you ever go to school or find a job or get married?" To this "Charles sat down and cried so hard he had to be carried." Charles does end up saving the life of his babysitter (who falls down the stairs) by bravely picking up the phone and calling the emergency service. He proves himself capable beyond his parents' expectations. This remains the story's only virtue: that someone so quiet, degraded, and emotionally and verbally abused could become a hero...but, overall, I rate this story at ZERO!!