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by Angela Johnson & illustrated by Scott M. Fischer

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-689-87377-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Sure, she lives here, but she also plays, pretends and occasionally gets in trouble in this lively story about a young African-American girl and her Papa Pete. 

Textured, colorful gouache illustrations portray exuberant Lottie with stylized proportions: thin, gangly arms and legs topped by a veritable explosion of brown hair. She is clearly the focus here. Papa Pete's face is never shown, although readers see other parts of him: his feet when he relaxes on the porch; his lower half when he's holding Lottie's hand. Papa Pete is patient, dangling Lottie's little shoes from his fingertips (she wears his) when it's time to go walking and allowing her to eat a cookie before her vegetables; however, he's gently firm when necessary. Text and art generally complement one another: When it's stated "Now, this is Papa Pete leaving the room and his phone....," then "And this is Lottie in the quiet chair—again," it's up to the art to show the broken cell phone. Unfortunately, it's confusing when the text mentions a "babysitter," but Papa Pete is shown; is he her father, grandfather or just someone watching her? Perhaps it doesn't matter; their loving relationship is the point here.

The final spread shows the small family's love: Lottie in Papa Pete's lap on the porch swing, eyes closed, smiling, cuddling her little dog on her lap. (Picture book. 3-6)