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THE TAMING OF LOLA by Ellen Weiss

THE TAMING OF LOLA

A Shrew Story

By Ellen Weiss (Author) , Jerry Smath (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-4066-6
Publisher: Abrams

An ill-mannered shrew learns a valuable lesson. The story is told in five “acts,” bracketed (and interrupted) by a tart grandmother shrew, who tells the tale to her hungry grandson. Under a big spruce tree on the West Meadow lives a huge burrow-ful of shrews, the most temperamental of whom is surely little Lola. “Shrews are not known for being nice, but Lola really took the cake.” Lola meets her match in visiting cousin Lester; they scream at each other until both lose their voices. At school, they fight about activities and at home about beds and food. The exhausted Lola has an epiphany: When she and Lester fight, both lose. A compromise leads to harmony, in sleeping arrangements and at the dinner table. Smath’s busy, impish illustrations—in watercolor accented with pen-and-ink—are a good match for Weiss’s substantial narrative, told mostly in dialogue. There are chuckles on every page—particularly in the grandmother’s narrative asides, which hint at her identity (“Screaming is relaxing”)—and readers won’t need to know Shakespeare to enjoy this yarn. (Picture book. 5-8)