I Have to Call Paul!


Children - Picture Book
47 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite

Children will love the rhyming words and outstanding illustrations in this children’s picture book: I Have to Call Paul! Author Corey Lohan has created a guessing game between a mother and her son. He needs to call Paul, but the mother can’t remember who Paul is. She makes all kinds of guesses, but none of them are correct. The fun artwork will draw children into the book, and the rhyming silliness will keep them entertained. I can’t get over how many chores and activities she accomplishes within the pages of this picture book: fixing the car, lifting weights, playing baseball, and doing household chores. I think teachers will like this story as much as students.

Hilarious illustrations will attract children to I have to call Paul!, but the story and the mom’s activities will keep them interested. Artist Valerie Peehenyk paints a lot of drama into her art with emotion, sweat, and action. She overemphasizes the antics, which adds to the book’s silliness. Even the cat is in most of the illustrations and displays emotion. Author Corey Lohan gives us a rhyming and silly story that children—and their parents—will enjoy reading. Mom keeps trying to figure out who Paul is while doing household activities in this fun story. I think all school and public libraries should include this book on their shelves. Great story plus outstanding illustrations equal a truly classic book. The surprise ending will have you reading I Have to Call Paul! again and again.

Asher Syed

I Have to Call Paul!, written by Corey Lohan and illustrated by Valerie Pechenyk, is a children's picture book that revolves around a young boy who is desperate to make a phone call and his mother, who is trying her darnedest to figure out who the heck Paul actually is. The book begins with an urgent declaration by a bespectacled child on the necessity of calling Paul while his mother is washing the dishes. The conversation plays out over the course of the day and is conveyed in rhyme, with each guess by the mother of who she thinks Paul is and the reaction of her son, who becomes progressively more exasperated as the back and forth continues. The mother, on the other hand, is perfectly composed and breezily carries on the tasks of the day.

Corey Lohan has written a clever and creative story that is likely to resonate as entertaining for children, and relatable to parents who are well aware of the “mom-mom-mom-mom” drama that makes an appearance on a near-daily basis—you know, life and death matters that usually involve a cookie or not being able to find the other shoe. I Have to Call Paul! harnesses this and allows it to take on a life of its own, a parody in which either knowingly or unknowingly, Mom is in the way of something super important. The whimsy is brought to life with stylized illustrations in full color by Valerie Pechenyk and, as with most children's picture books, the artwork is the true star of the show. Seeing the mother tossing clean plates like Frisbees onto a shelf is only topped by her changing the tire on the car. Hilarious, fun, and entirely engrossing with a finale that is guaranteed to result in a laugh, this is a book that will be in our bedtime rotation for a good amount of time.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Corey Lohan writes a zany and hilarious children’s story in I Have to Call Paul! Mom is in “super mom” mode. Her son desperately needs to make a call to Paul. Yet, try as she may, Mom does not remember Paul. Through several ridiculous attempts, she cannot recall Paul at all. The boy continues to plead, begging to "call Paul!” Finally, she concedes and hands him her phone. Listening to her little boy, she discovers the identity of Paul and realizes how much her son has grown.

I Have to Call Paul! written by Corey Lohan is delightfully funny. The illustrations are bright and bold, capturing the essence and add creative depth to the story. The story unfolds in hilarity and the artistry of the pictures. The old saying “a picture paints a thousand words” couldn’t be more true! There is a subtle, yet notable rhyme scheme that enhances the flow of the story and makes it fun to read aloud. The narrative’s conflict is the lack of understanding between mother and son. The mom is busy, completely and outrageously distracted, while the youngster tries to express the importance of the situation. The combination of ridiculous versus desperation is articulated through word and illustration. This story will make children laugh and adults smile at the antics portrayed. As I read it, I immediately compared it to the comedy of Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia. I Have to Call Paul will be read over and over again! It is beyond just amusing; it is a reminder for parents to stop and listen and for children to patiently explain. Corey Lohan penned a winner!

K.C. Finn

I Have To Call Paul! is a picture book in the children’s literature genre. It is aimed at younger readers and was penned by Corey Lohan with illustrations by Valerie Pechenyk. The book follows a child and his mother as the child desperately has to make a phone call to someone named Paul. His mother wants to help, of course, but she has no idea who Paul is. As she attempts to remember, her son tries to convince her that he’s old enough now to phone his friends without her keeping track of him. But will she let him call Paul? And who is Paul anyway?

This book is brought to life by the playful but familiar dynamic between mother and child, the former keen to help in their child’s dilemmas but only on their terms and the latter struggling to understand why their parents’ perception of them is so different from their own. Corey Lohan does a marvelous job of capturing the dynamic that will be familiar to parents of young children worldwide, then using that dynamic to tell a very entertaining tale about a very important phone call. The illustrations of Valerie Pechenyk are excellent and complement the storytelling style confidently. I Have To Call Paul! will be a delightful read for children and is one of those children’s books that is best enjoyed together as parent and child. It opens the floor to productive discussions about the parent/child relationship that young kids struggle to articulate, and as such, I recommend I Have To Call Paul! to parents and their children everywhere.

Trisha Dawn

Corey Lohan’s I have to call Paul! is a short story about a little boy who desperately wants to make a call to a guy named Paul. The little boy’s mom asks him several questions such as is Paul tall? Is he the one with whom my son plays ball? She is curious about Paul because she cannot recall him. However, question after question, one mystery still remains: who is Paul? Will she finally realize that her little boy is all grown up and let her son use the phone on his own? Will she ever figure out who Paul really is? Read I have to call Paul! and find out!

I have to call Paul! by Corey Lohan was an amusing and well-written short story. I felt as curious as the kid’s mother when I began reading the story right until I reached near the end. However, I couldn't help but laugh out loud once I finished reading it. I really enjoyed the conversation between the mother and son. Valerie Pechenyk's colorful and captivating illustrations covered the pages and were really pleasing to the eyes and they made it even more enjoyable to read. I could feel the frustration that the little boy felt as his mother kept asking him questions, but I could also relate to the curiosity the mother was feeling. It’s only right for her to be curious since she cares for her son dearly. This story is perfect to be read together by parents and their children and I found this book to be entertaining right until the very end. Even though this was just a short story, it was truly brilliant and whimsical! Great work!