Shy Charles

Shy Charles

by Rosemary Wells


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Charles is a mouse of few words. He doesn’t like to talk, and he’s perfectly happy playing by himself. But his parents are not happy. “It’s time he played football or joined the ballet,” says Charles’s father. So off Charles goes to ballet class, where he curls up and pretends to be asleep. Football proves even less successful. Will anything bring Charles out of his shell?

“A nicely told fable as helpful for their parents as for shy children in need of respect.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Wells has a time-tested talent for taking a keenly felt emotion—in this case shyness—and exploring it in a manner that is reassuring to young listeners.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140568431
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/28/2001
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 431,620
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.15(d)
Lexile: 500L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Rosemary Wells is the author of 120 books for children, including more than 40 about the beloved bunnies Max and Ruby. She travels all over the country as a tireless advocate for literacy. Wells was born in New Jersey to a playwright father and ballet dancer mother who encouraged her artistic bent. She worked as an art director and designer before illustrating her first book. She is the mother of two grown daughters, Victoria and Marguerite, and grandmother to four girls.

Customer Reviews

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Shy Charles 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
lleighton05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Critique: Genre: Although this book could not happen because it contains mice that talk, it is a story that children could easily relate to. The author enables there to be elements that could not ever occur, yet makes the story easy to understand for children. Plot: The plot of the story develops throughout and contains the problem of Charles not talking or using his manners because he is too shy. His parents try different activities to get him to talk, but none of them work. The climax of the story would probably occur towards the end when his baby-sitter falls down, and Charles actually calls the emergency service to save her. The resolution is this as well, but then the book concludes with Charles not saying anything in response to the grateful people. Media: mixed media
kidlit9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being painfully timid and shy does not keep a young mouse from rescuing his baby-sitter in an emergency situation.
KELoves2Read More than 1 year ago
If I could give zero stars, I would. This is a terrible book to read to children. When Shy Charles is too afraid to say thank you to a store clerk, his mother says "I'm embarrassed" and follows that with "You're lucky I'm nice, another mother would spank you." REALLY? Shy Charles is belittled throughout the book. I stopped reading it to my granddaughter because the message to children is terrible. If you want a lesson in how NOT to parent any child, let alone a shy one, go ahead and waste your $6 but if I were you, I'd skip it all together. Try Maya's voice for a much better book which focuses on helping a child find her voice in a kind and loving way. I will be returning this book because I don't want anyone to earn money from something so awful.
kattwin1 More than 1 year ago
I HATED this book...thus, here is my first scathing book review ever! I have a child in my 4K class with Selective Mutism. In an attempt to find books I could read to the class to help them understand shyness in general, I checked "Shy Charles" out from my library. It is a TERRIBLE book; I did NOT dare read it to my class. If you want to make a shy child feel like there is something inherently WRONG with them for being quiet, read to them this book. If you want to perpetuate negative stereotypes of shy children, read this book. If you want an example of the kind of book you certainly should NEVER read to ANY child, shy or not, then read this book. In the book, Charles is consistently pressured by his parents (who CLEARLY don't understand the correct way to deal with children suffering from shyness and other social anxiety disorders) to speak. When Charles does not say goodbye to a store clerk, his mother actually tells him, "I'm so never say goodbye or thank you. Lucky for you that I'm so nice. Another mother would spank you!" His parents force Charles to take ballet AND football when, obviously, Charles is uncomfortable in both highly social situations. After seeing Charles' inadequacy on the field, Charles' football coach says, "He doesn't look so well to me. Take him home and put him to bed." Because Charles was kicked off the team, Charles' father then resorts to name-calling and says, "Charles! You're a jelly roll! You're just a cowardly custard. You're like a sandwich without the bread, not to mention the ham and mustard. How will you ever go to school or find a job or get married?" To this "Charles sat down and cried so hard he had to be carried." Charles does end up saving the life of his babysitter (who falls down the stairs) by bravely picking up the phone and calling the emergency service. He proves himself capable beyond his parents' expectations. This remains the story's only virtue: that someone so quiet, degraded, and emotionally and verbally abused could become a hero...but, overall, I rate this story at ZERO!!