Who Wants to Be a Poodle? I Don'tYou might know author Lauren Child from her Charlie and Lola books (or the BBC/Disney television show they sourced). You may know her from her illustrated versions of Pippi Longstocking or Anne of Green Gables. You may have read some of her Clarice Bean books. However, some of her best books are her one-offs. Who Wants to Be a Poodle? I Don’t is one of those greats. The title pretty much says it all. Trixie Twinkle Toes Trot-a-Lot Delight is much adored, but she’d rather be dazzlingly dangerous and daring, and jumping in puddles. The book is humorous, well-written, but the best parts are Child’s illustrations.

Who Wants to Be a Poodle – I Don’t
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I’ve always loved the way that Child uses different fonts and lays out her words all over the illustrations in incredibly creative places. As Trixie slides down the bannister, so does the sentence. As Trixie watches other dogs prancing in the park, the prose swirls in, out, and around the trees.

To top this off, Child also has a spectacular collage style that I always find intriguing. When Trixie chews Mr. Chomley’s newspaper, the entire two-page spread is laid on the background of cut-up newspaper. The depth of the layout and design of Child’s book layer her stories deeper than most pictures ever get.

Nobody else lays out books like this. It’s Child’s unique style, and I’ll pretty much give any of her picture books a chance. If you’ve only read Charlie and Lola, you’re just scratching the surface of this rare British talent.

Borrow. Read. Return. Repeat.

 

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