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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Charlie comes to the shop for conversation with his friend and shop owner. He had not been by in some time, and this time he brought a bag with his special treasures. Together, the friends explore each of the marbles in the bag, with Charlie explaining how each one is unique and why it's important to him. This is an illustrated story about marbles, friendship, and discovery.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Age of Child: Started reading with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter has ooh-ed and aah-ed over the illustrations in this book many times. She has enjoyed reading and re-reading the story and is fascinated by the marbles. She also liked searching for the platypus on the pages.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great story with incredible illustrations. It seems that the marbles want to jump from the page. There are subtleties to the story that we haven't yet explored with our daughter, in part, because what we would say will sound so much more complicated than how it unfolds in the story.
Pros: There is a lot to share and learn in this picture book: friendship, marbles (including some marble history), and our unique histories.
Borrow or Buy: Buy, particularly if you or your child play or collect marbles. The story is excellent and the illustrations exceptional.
Educational Themes: At the end of the book there are two pages that offer biographies about the marbles Charlie describes. It's an excellent place to start if you want to learn more. For more sophisticated audiences, there is an opportunity to talk about personal value, how each of us has something unique to offer the world, and, if you're really creative, a chance to have a child collect a few treasures and provide their own personal history.