Young readers will find much to enjoy in this tale of a winning little girl and her family—hooray indeed!

READ REVIEW

HERE COMES LOLO

From the Lolo series , Vol. 1

Bright and cheerful Lolo is the star of the show in this new chapter-book series from South Africa.

Lolo is a little black girl who lives with her mother and grandmother. Lolo is a sensitive child but takes reassurance from the love of her mother and Gogo. In the first chapter, “A Gold Star and a Kiss for Lolo,” Lolo is impatient for the Star Awards at school that afternoon: “During music, Lolo couldn’t wait for the last line of a new song to end. Waiting for Star Awards was painful.” This feeling of eagerness for one’s favorite part of the day will be familiar to young readers. The events in Lolo’s world revolve around school, home, and her community—like most children in early elementary school. Children will find a sense of security in the love that Lolo receives from Gogo, her mother, and the people who live in their community. Volume 2, Hooray for Lolo, publishes simultaneously. It includes a chapter in which Lolo is treated for appendicitis. After being sick for so long, it takes a while for Lolo to reclaim her winning smile, but she manages, and all is well. These two books offer eight easy-to-read chapters between them, almost every page decorated in grayscale with Daly’s trademark loose, humorous cartoons.

Young readers will find much to enjoy in this tale of a winning little girl and her family—hooray indeed! (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9463953-3-7

Page Count: 78

Publisher: Catalyst Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education.

IF I BUILT A SCHOOL

A young visionary describes his ideal school: “Perfectly planned and impeccably clean. / On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15!”

In keeping with the self-indulgently fanciful lines of If I Built a Car (2005) and If I Built a House (2012), young Jack outlines in Seussian rhyme a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies (including one in a wheeled cart) greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches range from “PB & jelly to squid, lightly seared,” and the library’s books are all animated popups rather than the “everyday regular” sorts. There are no guards to be seen in the spacious hallways—hardly any adults at all, come to that—and the sparse coed student body features light- and dark-skinned figures in roughly equal numbers, a few with Asian features, and one in a wheelchair. Aside from the lack of restrooms, it seems an idyllic environment—at least for dog-loving children who prefer sports and play over quieter pursuits.

An all-day sugar rush, putting the “fun” back into, er, education. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55291-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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