Lola Goes to School
Anna McQuinn, author
Anna McQuinn has worked in children's books for more than thirty years as an editor, publisher, and writer. She has written more than twenty books for children, including the Lola Reads series. Anna has extensive experience running groups for young children and their parents at her local library. She lives in Ireland.
Read more about Anna McQuinn.
Rosalind Beardshaw, illustrator
Rosalind Beardshaw grew up in England. From a young age, she often spent rainy afternoons visiting art galleries. Rosalind has illustrated many books for children, including Mole's Babies, Just Right for Christmas, and The Best Present. She lives in England.
Read more about Rosalind Beardshaw.
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After years of everyday joys with McQuinn and Beardshaw's Lola, readers now watch her start school. It "will be a bit like story time at the library, but Lola will stay by herself." The little black girl "knows what to expect" because she's visited the school with her mom. She is prepared with gifts from loved ones—"fun pencils" from Nana, a water bottle from Ty. The night before her "big day," Lola lays out her outfit. In the morning, she tucks her stuffed kitty, Dinah, in her bag and poses for a snapshot. In the classroom, Miss Suzan, a white woman, shows her where to put her things. Lola spends time reading with her friend Julia, who has pale skin and black hair, and then they play dress-up. Her mom sits for a while before saying goodbye. After snack time and more play, there is circle time. Of course, "Lola knows the song and all the motions." Picking Lola up at the end of the day, Mommy hugs her daughter. Beardshaw's soft, slightly smudgy illustrations allow young readers to focus on one cozy moment at a time. Even at this milestone, Lola still appears quite tiny, and the text is no more complex than in previous books, making this a seamless transition from Lola's younger days to her new life in school. Both perfect for Lola fans and likely to earn her ever more readers.
Lola may be starting school for the first time, but after visiting the building and meeting her teacher, she knows what to expect. The night before, she packs her new pencils and water bottle into her bag. She lays out her clothes for tomorrow. In the morning, she and Mommy both go into her classroom. Mommy sits with other parents for a bit before leaving. Meanwhile, Lola reads, plays superheroes, and enjoys a snack. She and three classmates build a castle with blocks, then sit for circle time. Mommy returns, gives Lola a hug, and takes her home for a nap. Illustrated with colorful, lively artwork, this picture book offers a supportive starting place for conversations about preschool or kindergarten. The simplicity of the story and the universality of the experience combine to make this a reassuring choice for children entering a structured school environment for the first time, whether or not they know Lola from other books in the series, such as Lola Plants a Garden (2014) and Lola Gets a Cat (2017).
The book-loving young heroine from McQuinn and Beardshaw’s series enters a new chapter. Lola is prepared for school: she has already visited, so “she knows what to expect,” but there are new things to learn each step of the way (for example, a party dress may not be the best choice). Through jewel-toned art, readers accompany Lola as she observes her diverse classmates, makes choices about what to do (“Julia is reading. Lola decides to read, too”), and takes part in group activities such as building a castle and singing songs. At the end of the day, Lola’s mother picks her up, and the two have a snack at home: “School is fun... but exhausting.” Readers newly navigating this experience will enjoy comparing their own school-day discoveries to Lola’s.
ISBN: 978-1-63289-795-4 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-63289-796-1 PDF
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Page count: 32
83/8 x 95/8