Lola Dutch by Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781681195513
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Humour, Adventure, Art, Friendship. Lola Dutch loves to do different things, to have adventures with her friends, Bear, Crane, Gater and Pig.
Bear travels along behind her, telling her that sometimes she is just too much, as she flings herself into yet another scheme.
When they wake in the morning, Bear is ready for tea and toast, but not Lola. She asks her friends what they want and makes up an extraordinary feast of pancakes, pastries and grits. Going for a walk, the group descends upon the library where she revels in books about inventors, scientists and great writers, taking home a cartload of books about art and artists. With that in her mind, she starts painting all the walls and even the ceiling. "Too much" says Bear. After all that effort, it is time for bedtime and the group all get into their nightwear. But bedtime for Lola is never ordinary and children will laugh with glee as they see what she does and how the story resolves.
Readers will love following Lola's zany activities through the day beginning with breakfast, a time at the library, painting the house and then bed time. Her day parallels the day of many of the readers, but with a vastly more interesting overlay of actions. Children will love her quirky take on the familiar and follow her actions with gales of laughter.
The illustrations add another level of humour to the tale, asking readers to look in more detail at each page. I particularly liked the pages where she and her friends are painting the house, referencing many known artists and their work. It will be fun with a class to check out each of these paintings and their artist. The whole book resonates with delight, and readers will love Lola and the Bear as they clean up after breakfast or go to the library and then to bed. Bear is always there to help Lola complete her schemes. A friendship to be savoured.
Fran Knight