Picture Book Snob
Ten reasons why you should choose Charlie Chooses
Charlie Chooses by Lou Peacock and Nicola Slater, Nosy Crow
Charlie Chooses is an adorable story about a boy so scared of making the wrong decisions, he’s unable to make up his mind about anything. Charlie’s fear of making mistakes means he often misses out. When a rescue dog picks Charlie to be their owner, he realises that sometimes the best things that happen to us are beyond our control.
As someone who focuses far too much on the insignificant, constantly stresses about the hypothetical, and takes ages to order in restaurants, I absolutely love Charlie. Here are ten reasons why everyone should choose this book:
1. It acknowledges that decisions can be difficult This recognises that choosing is sometimes stressful (even for adults) and shows anxious children and overthinkers that they’re not alone.
2. It’s really funny Charlie’s dilemmas and expressions, and the faces of all the dogs, are hilarious. My kids and I are especially fond of the scene in which Charlie can’t decide whether to leave the lights on or off in his bedroom.
3. It has fabulous illustrations We have a few books illustrated by Nicola Slater and I love her retro style and colour palette, and how cute and amusing each image is. I love all the details like Charlie's dog standing on a skate board to reach the counter at the ice cream parlour, and Charlie’s drawing of him. There's a curious squirrel who appears in the background of most scenes and my children enjoy finding him. I love the 1950s clothing that all the characters wear, especially Charlie's houndstooth jacket!
4. It’s diverse All children should see themselves represented in the books they read. There are lots of characters of different ethnicities, including Charlie who has brown skin.
5. It promotes books and libraries Charlie goes to the library to look for help in book form. I love how this reinforces the benefits of reading and how libraries are a valuable resource.
6. It celebrates friendship This story highlights the importance of having good friends and we see how a problem shared is a problem halved.
7. It’s ideal for dog lovers
There are so many dogs of all shapes and sizes!
8. It shows the positive impact of having a pet Connecting with animals can be extremely comforting and Charlie’s relationship with his dog demonstrates this.
9. It promotes adopting pets from rescue centres Charlie finds a friend in an animal shelter and the story features lots of other rescue dogs too (read why it’s better to adopt than buy from breeders).
10. The ending is incredibly moving
I don’t want to give the plot away, but the story’s conclusion made me emotional the first time I read this. I love how the narrative continues into the endpapers, which reveal the dog’s name. My kids actually spotted this before I did (and were very excited to make the discovery).
PS. It comes with a free audiobook As with all Nosy Crow picture books, this comes with a free "Stories Aloud" digital download.
About the author:
Lou Peacock has one of the best jobs in the world: head of picture books at Nosy Crow ( I'm extremely jealous). She has a degree in English literature from Oxford University, and over twenty years’ experience in children’s publishing. She started her editorial career working on novelty books, but has focused on picture books and poetry for the last 15 years. She often puts her author hat on to write picture books for Nosy Crow and has a notebook full of scribbled ideas.
About the illustrator:
Nicola Slater began her career as an usher, but life by the big screen was too heady and too fast. Instead, she chose to study Illustration in Buckinghamshire, where she developed a passion for children’s books that far surpassed her love of popcorn. She has since had books published here and in the United States, which include Best Friends, Spot a Lot, and Leaping Lemmings. Nicola lives with her family in Cheshire, close to the local cinema where she likes to occasionally lurk in the foyer.
Charlie Chooses was published by Nosy Crow in May 2021 - see this book on the publisher's website
Thanks so much to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for sharing this gorgeous book with us - all opinions expressed are our own.
Learn how to draw Charlie with illustrator Nicola Slater:
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