Oopses occur when animals of varied sizes, colors, and species wreak havoc around town and pay a riotous price—but learn a valuable life lesson.
Trouble begins on the title-page spread when Lola, a smooth, yellow armadillo, haplessly spills juice on a white armchair. Her solution? To hide in the library until adulthood. On the way, Lola encounters three neighbors, each of whom has experienced a misfortune, and they join her. So intent are they on reaching safe haven that no one notices that everyone else around is embroiled in disasters, and troubles escalate from there. Tsurumi portrays accumulating sequences of missteps in breathless, hilarious detail; children will have great fun poring over and savoring the escapades, some of which are depicted small. Besides honing visual-literacy skills, this is a neat vehicle for developing vocabulary, as pertinent themed words (“FIASCO!”; “MAYHEM!”) are wittily incorporated into the comical illustrations as sound effects or speech-balloon dialogue. Aside from that, text is sparse. At the end, the point is made that some unlucky occurrences are, well, accidents. Sweet scenes showing concerned neighbors apologizing, making restitution, and dutifully cleaning up clarify that such incidents are forgivable and fixable. The final pages, depicting Lola’s parent also experiencing an oops-able moment, convey this message more pointedly. Note a final, delightful “accident” on the back endpapers.
Accidents are OK. This entertaining romp acknowledges that those who have them are OK, too. (Picture book. 4-7)