i want to pet sit for Sizzles

Don't pets in books, movies, and on TV always steal the show? tigeraspect.co.uk

I have quite a few favorites, but my current celebrity doggie crush is on Sizzles, from the Charlie & Lola books and TV series. My littles introduced me to the Charlie & Lola books by Lauren Child, and soon after, we saw the characters come to life on the small screen, much to our delight. Honestly, it's the only kids show I actually enjoy watching with them.

For me, the books and episodes shine because of the dialogue and the illustrations/animation. And it's quite impressive how closely the animation keeps with the books' illustrations. The characters are charming and adorable and creative, and they make the most mundane thing seem like an adventure. Every book and episode starts the same way in Charlie's voice (he's British, so don't forget to imagine the accent):

I have this little sister Lola. She is small and very funny...


Charlie is the sweet older brother, and all of the stories are told in his voice. Lola is his adorable (and small and funny) little sister, who he often must rescue from one thing or another. Nothing too dramatic. Things like not being able to find her favorite book at the library or spending all her money at the zoo so she can't purchase the seal bath toy she had her heart set on. Charlie always makes things right for Lola.

So what about Sizzles? Sizzles is their friend, Marv's, dog. Lola loves Sizzles, and so do I. Sizzles is part mischief and part love, and has a knowing look almost all of the time, though he doesn't seem quite as smart as Lola thinks he is. He appears in only some of the books and episodes. Just enough to get you to fall in love and beg for more. And his bottom is just the cutest!


My favorite Charlie & Lola book is We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog, so, naturally, my favorite episode is We Do Promise Honestly We Can Look After Your Dog, which is, of course, based on the book. I won't debate which is better, but I will say I love to see Sizzles in action. Lola, and her BFF, Lotta, beg Marv to let them look after Sizzles. The girls are in a bit over their heads, but it's jolly good fun, and *spoiler alert* Sizzles makes it out of the experience just fine. If you are a dog lover who wants to smile right now, please click here and watch the episode. I completely absolutely promise you will love it. Watch with your dog-loving kids, too. Okay, go ahead...let me know what you think, and let me know how madly in love with Sizzles you are.

But you can't have him. He's mine. Sizzles can do anything.

animals who reduce, reuse, and recycle: Jeremy Jackrabbit takes over Phoenix

Now that kids know how to use a touch screen by three months of age, you might think puppet shows old fashioned. Retro, at best. The littles have been enjoying the Phoenix Public Library Summer Program, and yesterday's event was a puppet show put on by the Great Arizona Puppet Theater. To be honest, I wasn't too excited about it, so I planned to read during the performance. And...the littles debated about whether or not to go. A puppet show? Off we went, despite our reservations. Po's book. And some dried play-doh I neglected to collect.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the puppet show was "Jeremy Jackrabbit Recycles the Can," based on the Jeremy Jackrabbit book that Porter brought home from school a couple of weeks before summer's onset. He was super excited when he got to keep a copy of the book and rambled on and on about how the story was great and how the girl who illustrated it was just a kid, and she came to his class to read the book. I pretty much thought he had his story mixed up, but then I did a bit of research.

Jeremy Jackrabbit Recycles the Can was written by Sasha and Rodney Glassman of Phoenix and illustrated by student artists of Phoenix, all from local elementary schools. One of the illustrators was from Porter's school, so she did, indeed, read the book to the class. Duh, mommy. The authors sound pretty amazing, as noted on the back of the book:

Sasha and Rodney have a passion for education, helping children, and making their community a stronger and more sustainable place to live, work, and raise a family. With these goals in mind, their vision of writing children's books, illustrated by students, to educate future generations on issues of sustainability was born.

Jeremy Jackrabbit's adventures center around a lesson in reducing, reusing, and recycling. He meets lots of animal friends along the way, and together, they preach a message of sustainability that is fun for kids. The story is simple, yet the message is clear, and children really enjoy the peer-created illustrations, which I believe support an "I can do it" spirit.


The Great Arizona Puppet Theater (Sasha Glassman serves on the board) has brought a current theme to the old fashioned puppet show, and the audience yesterday was delighted. Jeremy Jackrabbit and his friends interacted with the kids, and the crowd went wild. Heck, even I put down my book to take a quick, possibly unauthorized video of Mountain Lion Michael's song.

Michael's voice could be considered irritating by many, but the kids loved that shit. And I have to hand it to the puppeteer, who gave irritating voices to multiple characters simultaneously and singlehandedly. She was a true professional in her craft.

I must apologize for the odd angle of the video. As delightful as librarians can be, there is one who takes her job–puppet show security–quite seriously, as if expecting a mosh pit to erupt at any moment. I was able to capture this behind-the-scenes footage by hiding behind a pirate ship set so said librarian couldn't see me. Outlaw at the puppet show–that's me

[wpvideo LGsNiTFq]

In multiple formats, Jeremy Jackrabbit has hippity-hopped into our lives and is having a positive influence on the children in our community, preaching a valuable lesson in sustainability. He's captured our attention, and I love it! Now I wonder if the puppets are made of recycled materials...