Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Louise the Big Cheese and the Ooh-la-la Charm School

Louise the Big Cheese and the Ooh-la-la Charm School

Elise Primavera
Illustrator:   Diane Goode 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2012   ISBN: 978-1442405998

Louise lives in a very ordinary house with her very ordinary parents and sister, and her biggest problem is that she does not want to be ordinary. Louise wants to be “a big VIP.” No matter what she does, no one notices her, and she finds this very galling. She needs to do something to change her status in the world.

One day Louise is out riding her bike and hoping that someone “important” will notice her. No one pays her any attention for quite a while, and then Louise encounters a girl who is walking around with a book on her head. The girl explains that her name is Claire Éclair, that she is French, and that she is visiting her grandmother. According to Claire, everyone in Paris is “ooh-la-la.” Not surprisingly, Louise wants to be ooh-la-la too. Claire invites her to attend her Ooh-la-la Charm School the next day.

In the Charm School, Louise learns how to walk around with a book on her head, she learns how to make a bed and put away toys “just the way they do in Paris.” Louise spends all her time with Claire Eclaire, and she completely ignores Fern, who has been Louise’s friend for years. Louise is so consumed with become ooh-la-la VIP important that she forgets something essential.

Young readers will find it hard not to laugh out loud as they share in Louise’s latest adventure. Once again, Louise sets about trying to be a “Big Cheese,” and once again she learns an important lesson about life. With Diane Goode’s wonderfully expressive illustrations and a loveable main character, this is a title that young readers will be happy to have in their book collection.