Anna McQuinn, author
Anna McQuinn is the author of more than twenty books for children, including Wanda's Washing Machine (Tiger Tales), Lola at the Library, and more. She also works part-time as a librarian, running family book groups. Anna lives in Slough, England.
Read more about Anna.
Ruth Hearson, illustrator
Ruth Hearson has illustrated and written several children's books, including Cinnamon's Fairy Sleepover and Knitted by Grandma. She lives in England.
Read more about Ruth.
Leo, who first appeared in Lola Reads to Leo, attends a baby program with his mother.
He and his fellow sitting-up babes enjoy singing and playing on their grown-ups' laps, as well as exploring books and toys. The single- and double-page spreads include one or two sentences describing the action written in a bold, black type: "First they sing the happy song. / Then they play peekaboo with scarves!" Hearson effectively channels the style of Rosalind Beardshaw, who illustrated the previous Lola titles, and creates cozy cartoon scenes in warm jewel tones. The setting of this program is left unclear, but it could easily be a public library or a community center in a very diverse neighborhood (the skin tones range from chocolate to peach). Organizations offering such events will want to stock up on this title, since it offers a perfect introduction for babies and their caregivers alike. While the ending feels a bit abrupt, little ones will find much to recognize here, and their grown-ups will appreciate the baby-friendly book design with its thicker-than-normal pages, jacketless cover and rounded corners.
Like Leo and his friends, this book is a buoyant and bouncy delight.
Leo, the younger brother of the bibliophilic star of McQuinn’s Lola Loves Stories and its sequels, steps out on his own—so to speak (he’s not exactly a walker yet). On Wednesdays, curly-haired Leo and his mother go to “Baby Time,” where parent-and-tot games await: “First they sing the happy song. Then they play peekaboo with scarves!” Hearson’s acrylics maintain the look and feel of Rosalind Beardshaw’s work in the Lola books, but the text’s somewhat vague allusions to certain activities (“They sing the stretchy song... and the rolly song”) might leave some families in the dark, if they aren’t already familiar with them.
School Library Journal
Fans of Lola at the Library are reintroduced to her little brother, Leo, and his new library adventures. The author describes everything that happens in Baby Time each week. "First they sing the happy song. Then they play peekaboo with scarves!" The beautiful acrylic illustrations do a great job of showing the diverse participants and are a perfect match for the spare text. With only one sentence per page, this book is a good choice for young readers and listeners. It would be useful for introducing both new parents and children to storytimes, as it clearly shows how much Leo and his other enjoy everything about the experience. While it breaks no new ground, it should be considered for most collections.
English language edition
Page count: 24
8 x 8
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Kindergarten. Standards 1-7, 9, and 10
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Grade 1. Standards 1-5, 7, and 10