Sunday, October 4, 2009
David Michael Slater's play on words in the title Cheese Louise let you know you're in for a comical treat before you even open the cover. The verbal groaners just keep on coming, and you can't help but smile as you encounter each one.
Cheese Louise is the story of a slice of Swiss cheese of the same name. She wakes up in the refrigerator one day, not knowing where she is. Seymour Carrot and Pop Corn fill her in on The Wait. Their goal in life is to look as appetizing as possible to be Chosen, while simultaneously avoiding Kit the Cat, who delights in opening the loose door searching for a snack. Cheese Louise fears that with all of her holes, she is too ugly to be Chosen.
When the wise old Leader (baking soda) calls a meeting to strategize how to save Humphrey Yogurt, who has been left sitting out on a table and may turn sour, Cheese Louise sees her chance to be brave and use her holes to her advantage.
Cheese Louise becomes a hero, and her shining enthusiasm and self-assurance allows her to achieve the ultimate goal of all foods in this world.
Cheese Louise is one of those rare books that can appeal to all ages. Young children will get a kick out of the cartoony characters in the illustrations. Older children will enjoy the story, and sharing how smart they are as they figure out the puns throughout. Those same puns will make adults smile, and not feel so bad about reading and rereading the story.
Children will benefit from hearing about Cheese Louise learned to believe in herself. Follow-up conversations can be had between children and trusted adults to enhance their positive self-concept. Adults can even benefit from the reminder to be creative in their endeavors and to use what they have to their advantage.
And English teachers can have fun dissecting the literary puns and deeper meanings interspersed throughout the story.
David Michael Slater has found a way to make his mark on the children's book world, by combining strong narrative with linguistic fun. Accompanied by vibrant illustrations by Steve Cowden, this book will be a fan favorite for years to come.
Purchase Cheese Louise!
Andrea Coventry is a reviewer for Bookpleasures.com