Newcomers and devoted fans alike will cheer for clever, likable siblings Charlie and Lola in their newest outing.
Charlie and pal Marv want solitude for tracking “strange and tricky creatures,” but younger sister Lola interferes at every step: “Lola stepped on our spaceship. We had to walk back to Earth.” When the boys concoct an invisibility potion (“pink milk, a tiny drop of banana, and a secret invisible ingredient”), Lola cunningly feeds it to imaginary friend Soren Lorenson. Child has her own magic potion here: Atop her appealing mixed-media spreads of collaged line drawings, fabric patterns and graph paper, she now adds invisible Soren Lorenson. While Charlie, Lola and Marv (and Soren) look for creatures, readers have the joy of looking for Soren, whose glossy but uncolored outline can only be glimpsed by tipping the book until the light hits just so. The four of them play together, engrossed—under Lola’s direction—until they catch “the most strange and terrifyingly tricky creature in the universe” and have tea with him. Text bounces around and changes and typeface and font size.
Adults will recognize a spot-on portrayal of children’s imagination games, while kids will recognize the underwater, outer-space and mountainous territories that their homes become every day through play. (Picture book. 3-7)