When Grandmother Lola vanishes while fishing for sardines, Grandfather Lolo cries endless tears.
Lolo loves sardines and fishes for them daily with Jeff, an octopus, nearby. Even though Lola detests sardines, she sells them in her fish shop and cooks them for Lolo. One day Lola runs out of sardines; not wanting Lolo to go hungry, she goes fishing. Incredibly, a big sardine pulls her right into Jeff’s belly, which Lola discovers is “like a house.” (Really—there is a rug, pictures on the wall, and even a cookstove.) Inside Jeff’s belly, sardines are the only thing to eat, and Lola discovers “they were really tasty” and begins to experiment cooking them different ways. Meanwhile, when Lolo finds Lola missing, he can’t stop crying and floats on his tears into the ocean, where he finds Lola happily feasting on sardines inside Jeff. Using simple shapes, a retro palette of aqua, red, tan, and white, and unadorned flat backgrounds, the sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek illustrations infuse this bizarre story with whimsy and wit. Quiet domestic scenes of Lolo fishing and Lola frying sardines contrast with surreal views of Lola inside Jeff and Lolo lying on Jeff’s tentacle. Close-ups of Lolo’s tattoo proclaiming “I love sardines,” Lola’s tattoo of a heart inscribed with “Lolo,” and Lola’s new tattoo of a sardine add subtle visual humor.
A delightfully “fishy” love story from Spain. (Picture book. 3-7)