Thursday, 3 November 2011

Slightly Invisible

Slightly Invisible by Lauren Child (Orchard Books)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978 1 40830 792 2
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

First published in hardback in 2010, Lauren Child’s latest book featuring Charlie and Lola packs its usual zany punch.

Charlie wants time alone with his best friend, Marv, but little sister, Lola, is glued to his side as usual. She hopes she can persuade the boys to play tea parties instead of looking for strange and tricky monsters. Charlie gets more and more exasperated so Lola promises to sit under the table and be quiet while the two friends mix up a special invisibility potion in order to creep up on their quarry.

The boys put the pink potion in the fridge but when they need it to capture their monster, it has been drunk! Lola blames her invisible friend Soren Lorensen, and when the boys complain they will never catch the monster now, Lola shows them how!

Lauren Child’s books plunge the reader into the minds of young children and how they interact with their siblings. They demonstrate the imaginary worlds children live in, interspersed with doses of reality. Slightly Invisible is no exception. The text whirls around the illustrations in a slightly mad way and the dialogue between the children is uniquely entertaining, e.g.,

Marv says, “There are no such things as invisible voices.” Lola says, “If there are no such things as invisible voices, then why can’t you hear him?”

Colourful, exuberant and grounded all at the same time, Slightly Invisible will be eagerly embraced by followers of this highly original author/illustrator.  

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