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Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Readers' Favorite
Imagine discovering a tiny little man living under your bed. One you can talk to and play with. That’s exactly what Sam found one morning. The two become friends and Sam even buys a doll house for his friend, Charlie, to live in. Charlie and Sam decide to keep Charlie’s existence a secret and Sam often carries Charlie around with him in his pocket. Because Charlie is so tiny, everyday events are a challenge for him. Helen Laycock shares Charlie and Sam’s adventures in her book, Charlie Chumpkins. Charlie flies in an airplane, dives down the drain to rescue Sam’s mother’s ring, is used in a magician’s trick, is accidentally photocopied at Sam’s school, rides on the back of a bird to rescue Sam, and visits a bride and groom sitting on top of a wedding cake.
Helen Laycock’s Charlie Chumpkins reminds me of Stuart Little. The story lines are similar. Stuart Little is a tiny mouse born into a family of humans. Charlie Chumpkins is the story of a tiny person living among normal-sized humans. Another similarity is the sampling of adventures the two experience. Many are very comical and both characters model positive reactions to life’s mishaps. The ending lines to the wedding scene are hilarious. This book is recommended for grades four to six. I believe even third graders would enjoy the book as reading material. Of course, it could be read to children of lower levels and I believe they would enjoy the humor and the suspense of how Charlie will survive the current mishap. I recommend this for young readers who enjoy humor and adventure.