Charlie and Lola, the brother and sister duo with wonderful British accents, are favorites in our house. My kids love watching the television series on Playhouse Disney. In the series, older brother Charlie keeps an eye on and plays with little sister Lola who is "small and very funny." They spend time doing normal, everyday kid things and the dialogue between the two is exceptionally amusing. We also own several of the Charlie and Lola series of books (both original and TV tie-ins). The original books inspired the animated TV series. Author Lauren Child created Charlie and Lola and wrote the first book titled I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, published in 2000. If you have the time, visit Lauren Child's website and find the Charlie and Lola character page to read her fascinating "The Charlie and Lola Story." She fills in all the blanks about the books, the TV series and even tells who inspired Lola and where the idea of pink milk originated.
Several of the Charlie and Lola episodes are available on DVD. The latest release is called Charlie and Lola, Vol. 9: What Can I Wear for Halloween? The DVD includes nine episodes. Only the first episode, "What can I Wear for Halloween," focuses on the Halloween holiday. In this episode, Charlie, Lola, Marv, and Lotta proudly discuss the pumpkin they grew from seed. They plan to show it off at the school Halloween party. Lola can't decide what she wants to wear and shrugs off several of Charlie's suggestions like deep sea monster and spider. Something unfortunate happens to the pumpkin the kids grew, but in the end the "biggest, orangiest pumpkin lantern in the whole of Halloween" shines brighter than all.
Like I said, only one episode focuses on Halloween. The other episodes discuss fall and leaves, helping others, school projects, sleepovers and, of course, there's always time for pink milk. My favorite episode "I am Going to Save a Panda" covers endangered animals and extinction. Teachers could easily incorporate this episode into their lesson planning involving ecology and wildlife preservation for Endangered Species Day or World Animal Day. I also loved the mention of a game called "Conkers" that uses seeds of horse-chestnut trees strung on a string in the autumn episode titled "Everything is different and not the same." We've collected horse-chestnut seeds but I had never heard of the game until viewing this DVD. My daughter's favorite episode "But we always do it like this" is all about building sand castles and getting along with others.
The DVD menu is one of the cutest I've ever seen. When you click on the soccer ball to view the DVD, Lola blows bubbles in her pink milk...too fun! The interesting cartoon animation looks similar to the original books and uses a collage method to incorporate real photos of things like pumpkins into the cartoon. Additionally, the characters look like they are cut out of a piece of paper. All in all, (taking cue's from Lola) this is really an ever so extremely good DVD to watch with kids.
Episode List (Total viewing time approximately 120 minutes):
What Can I Wear for Halloween?
Everything is Different and Not the Same
I Am Goody the Good
But We Always Do It Like This
I Am Going to Save a Panda
I Slightly Want to Go Home
Do Not Ever Let Go
I Would Like to Actually Keep it
But I Don't Really Like This Present
Charlie and Lola Website
Playhouse Disney - Charlie and Lola Website
Lauren Child - Author Website
BBC America Shop
Win a copy. BBC Video has kindly offered to giveaway a Charlie and Lola Volume Nine: What Can I Wear for Halloween? DVD to a Brimful Curiosities reader.
How to enter: What kind of costume do you think Lola (from Charlie and Lola) would look cute wearing? Leave a comment with your answer.
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Thanks to BBC Video and Bender/Helper impact for the review opportunity.
(DVD Source: review copy provided for free by Bender/Helper Impact, Inc. View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)