Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Brave Charlotte

Brave Charlotte

Anu Stohner
Illustrator:  Henrike Wilson 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Bloomsbury , 2005   ISBN: 1582346909

Right from the start Charlotte is not like the other sheep. Instead of standing in the field in a docile sheep-like manner, Charlotte likes to climb trees, go for swims in the river, climb mountains, and explore the countryside. The other sheep, Jack the sheepdog, and the shepherd all think that  her behavior is very odd, and they all wish that she would settle down and behave like a proper sheep.

Then one day the shepherd falls down and breaks his leg. Poor Jack doesn’t know what to do, and the older sheep cannot bring themselves to make the long and dangerous journey to the farmer’s house to get help. Of course Charlotte doesn't have these reservations at all. She sees nothing wrong with going to get help even if  “a sheep has never gone to the valley alone.”

So Charlotte sets off on her long trip, and she even manages to get a lift along the way, for Charlotte is a very special sheep indeed.

This wonderful picture book beautifully shows the reader that there is nothing wrong with being different, nor is there anything wrong with having dreams and being adventurous. Often it is those of us who have the courage to be true to ourselves who end up making a difference in the world, just as Charlotte does when she sets of on her courageous mission. Spare and yet meaningful paintings compliment the text to make this is winning and thought-provoking book.