School Kitty: Little Lola by Julie Saab
THIS IS LOLA. SHE WOKE UP EXTRA EARLY TODAY.
THAT WAS LUCKY, BECAUSE SHE HAD BIG PLANS TO DO!
Kitty Lola is awakened by a falling apple. And at the top of her TO DO FOR TODAY list, Little Lola has checked the box that says HAVE ADVENTURE.
What kind of adventure does that apple suggest?
Right! Lola decides to go to school.
Following the crowd of kids, Lola climbs aboard the big yellow bus. The kids are thrilled.
"HOORAY! LOLA IS GOING TO SCHOOL!"
Little Lola loves the classroom. Everything is shiny and neat, with a place for everything.
THERE WAS EVEN A PLACE FOR A CURIOUS LITTLE CAT.
And surprisingly, clever Lola has plenty of scholastic aptitude. She prints her name neatly and does some addition problems. Then, in a bit of hands-on math, she subtracts the proper number of cheesy Goldfish crackers from the snack tray! Yummy math!
There is a tiny bit of a problem at show-and-tell time, when Lola, improvising a quick surprise, comes up with a mouse, dangling from her paw by its tail!
4"UH OH! LOLA!
There's a bit of commotion when Lola, recognizing her faux pas (or is it faux paws?), releases the mouse, resulting in a chase that disorders the decorous arrangement of the classroom for a moment. But Little Lola pitches in to put things back in order, surreptitiously slipping the mouse into the teacher's desk drawer to keep it out of sight while she shows off her one-cat-band musical ability.
Not since Mary's little lamb came to school has there been a more merrymaking classroom visitor, in Julie Saab's Little Lola (Greenwillow Books, 2014). Lola the cat makes a charming little schoolgirl in artist David Gothard's watercolor illustrations, and having a kitty in your class makes going off to school seem like child's play for sure, in this pleasant little fantasy. Gothard fills his pages with plenty of sly visual humor, poking good-natured fun at the idea of a stylish schoolgirl cat, leaving kids snickering at what they imagine happening off-page when, after school, Teacher discovers that mouse in her drawer. Publishers Weekly even assigns this one a starred review, saying, "Gothard’s watercolors have a retro, Richard Scarry simplicity and showcase Lola’s personality at every turn. An entertaining and promising debut for both Lola and her creators."