Anita's Haven

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The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon SCHOOL DAY, vol.2 by Ellen L. Buikema – my review

on 08/01/2017

This is a fun and educational story, with all the usual school issues touched upon, but not preached about. The characters are all various animals. When you read the story you will see the auhor made really good use of personification, drawing similes between the behaviour of children and animals in a funny way. The illustrations are simple, inobtrusive and helpful, and my daughter liked them. Each chapter brings us a different school day, but all are linked with an unusual friendship developing.

What kid doesn’t like going on a school trip and being with friends out of school? Placing the school trip in a museum, the author will certainly draw attention to biology and history, and using animals as characters helps the children relate and raises their interest in various animal species’ origin and behaviour. 

Baking cookies together with your friends, and chocolate ones on top of all? Another thing everyone loves to do. I enjoyed the little hints the author leaves for us to see the bully Boris has issues of his own, and the way she makes Charlie eager to treat Boris as a friend. Certainly encourages positive behaviour! When Charlie gets ill, every parent will recognize the phases, so the story lends itself to being read by the child alone or with a parent. 

The science experiment chapter reminded me of the rare fun lessons in biology and chemistry we did, and how much experiments and team work really help children learn about life and each other.

The interactive activities after the chapters are interesting, simple and fun, and children will definitely enjoy them. I was looking forward to predicting them!

All the characters are likeable and the book sends a very positive message, allowing for mischief, skirmish and curiosity as natural part of growing up. It is a clean read which promotes friendship and learning, which will certainly make me recommend this story to educators and parents working with children from about 5 to 10 years old.
This review was written for the Readers Review Room and deserves a gold bookworm.

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