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CHARLIE CHOOSES by Lou Peacock Kirkus Star


by Lou Peacock ; illustrated by Nicola Slater

Pub Date: May 18th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1727-8
Publisher: Nosy Crow

An indecisive child is chosen.

Poor Charlie is an anxious little boy. He can’t make even small decisions about things like ice cream and underwear, never mind choosing the present he wants for his birthday. Peacock’s text humorously conveys Charlie’s worries about making the wrong choices without ever stooping to poke fun while Slater’s cartoon art adopts a retro style that makes the picture book feel somehow familiar. A sleepless, wide-eyed Charlie lying in bed uncertain whether he wants the light on or off will elicit sympathy. When Charlie finally does decide that a pet dog would be the perfect birthday present, he confronts his biggest conundrum yet: which pup to pick at the animal shelter? This is where Slater’s illustrations truly shine, with depictions of a range of dog breeds that seem like a mashup of Sandra Boynton’s and Christian Robinson’s styles. In a pitch-perfect ending, the perfect pup chooses Charlie, relieving him of the need to make a decision and giving him a companion who helps ease his worries from that point on. Charlie has light-brown skin and a shock of brown hair; neither he nor any of the other racially diverse children who populate this book seem to have any parents, nor any need of them—a whimsical detail that adds appeal.

Choose this one, for sure.

(Picture book. 3-7)