Slightly Invisible

We have a Charlie & Lola CD that is requested over and over again in the car. Which is fine, except that I find myself saying things like “coffee is my favourite and my best…” and “I am too absolutely tired to cook dinner tonight.”

Characters Charlie and Lola have well and truly earned ‘classic’ status – there’s an animation series, merchandise including everything from umbrellas to undies, a live show and dozens of books, CDs and DVDs. Here’s the interesting bit – not all Charlie & Lola fans know that the creator, Lauren Child, has in fact written only four original Charlie & Lola books, of which Slightly Invisible is the latest.

Slightly Invisible was inspired by a little boy who said to Child at a book signing “Can Charlie please do something naughty for once!”  So, after countless tales of Lola’s exploits and Charlie playing the ever-patient and protective big brother, Charlie finally loses his temper with Lola in Slightly Invisible.

Charlie and his friend Marv are in search of “strange and tricky creatures”, but just at the point of capturing said creatures, Lola interrupts them. Tired of being bothered, Charlie tells Lola to go away. What follows is a funny story about invisibility potions, pink milk and Soren Lorensen’s expert skills in catching strange and tricky creatures.

All the hallmarks of Charlie & Lola are in abundance in Slightly Invisible. The signature, ornate language, heavy on adverbs – for example Charlie says, “You see we are inventing a very inventive invention” – the collage-style illustrations, the varnished image of Soren Lorensen and of course the swirling, mixed typography.

Slightly Invisible is Charlie & Lola at their best and thoroughly enjoyable, right down to the last drop of pink milk.

Slightly Invisible is available from $9.85 from Fishpond.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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