Hilarious Lola has a lot of problems, but the very biggest one—growing all the time—is the immense knot of snarled hair at the back of her head. What is a girl to do?
Lola’s strategy is to ignore it if at all possible. Getting that knot out is going to hurt. The very thought of it makes her wince (worry and squint at the same time). The trouble is her hair is naturally curly, and if it doesn’t get properly brushed, as when her parents are too busy, then knots g-r-o-w. Another thing about Lola, who is white and Jewish but shares an elementary school class with a multicultural group, is that she likes to be kind, so she invites two of her second-grade classmates to drop their dogs off at her house so she can watch them over the busy Thanksgiving holiday. Even she knows that second dog is going to be a problem. Being kind also makes it very hard to tell one of her two competing grandmothers that her pumpkin pie tastes like “licking a candle.” Lola’s distinct, effervescent first-person narration includes the occasional definition—“Deluxe means you wish you had one”—and other funny thoughts that early grade school readers (and grown-ups) will laugh at. Hoppe’s numerous charming illustrations enrich the presentation.
Cheeky Lola is a well-balanced combination of exuberance and naïve vulnerability that charms and entertains. (Fiction. 6-9)