By Anna & Maureen Tai, 30 September 2018
Our thin paperback copy of My wobbly tooth must not ever NEVER fall out is battered and bruised, like the banana that Ben brought home from school the other day. Most of the pages have been cello-taped back together, the spine has rubbed off and the majority of the free stickers are on the underside of my mum’s coffee table in Malaysia.
We acquired our Charlie and Lola books over a decade ago, before we discovered the TV series, and read them to Anna on an almost daily basis – sometimes twice daily – for much of her toddler years. I wonder if Anna still remembers them …
M: What is this book about?
A: It’s about when Lola gets her first wobbly tooth. She says it must never ever fall out.
M: And why is that?
A: Because she thinks that if she loses her teeth, she won’t get new teeth. But then Charlie tells her that after her baby teeth fall out, she gets adult teeth.
M: Really? I don’t remember that.
A: Yeah, it’s in the book. [Looks at me sideways] Are you sure YOU read it then?
M: [Makes a face at Anna] Hmmmph. What happens next?
A: Umm. Then Lola sees Lotta…
M: Wait, who is Lotta?
A: OK, now I am positive you haven’t read this book, or maybe ANY of the Charlie and Lola books. Lotta is Lola’s best friend AND is in almost ALL of the books.
M: [Under my breath, Right, 10 going on 16 then]. And then?
A: Lola sees that Lotta has just lost a tooth and that’s when Lola finds out that if you put your tooth under your pillow at night, the Tooth Fairy comes and gives you money.
M: Has the Tooth Fairy ever given you money?
A: No. But you have.
M: Ah, ok. You started reading the Charlie and Lola books when you were 2 years old, and now you’re almost 11. Why don’t you want me to give them away?
A: The main reason I want to keep them is that they have stickers all over them and they look weird. It would be rude to give them to someone.
M: But you remember these stories, you absolutely adored them when you were young. Why?
A: I dunno. Because the stories are funny? I like the drawings because they look like collages, because there are all sorts of patterns. The pictures are funny, like when Lola’s tooth comes out, it looks like a sugar cube. See? [Pointing] Some of the illustrations are actually real [flipping the pages] like the chickens, apples and piggy banks.
M: So, if you had to describe Lola in three words … ?
A: Crazy, silly and funny.
Daddy (in the background): She’s also very imaginative!
So even Daddy remembers. Enough said.
For ages 2 and up.