Review: Leaping Lola
Pure exuberant fun sums up this glee-filled story of Lola, a little brown Jersey calf (my absolute fave cow!) who, much to the consternation of her mother, Clarissa, wants to go to the cow ball. Her mother insists Jerseys are not designed to dance and most definitely should not attend the Black and White Ball on account that Lola is 100% non-black and white.
Her hitherto carefree pirouette practising comes to a sad muddy halt as Lola relays her lamentable tale to Pearl the pig. Fortunately, Pearl is a pig of purposeful pleasures and immediately offers to 'dress' Lola for the occasion.
Disguised as a black and white kind of Carmen Miranda, Lola is arguably the belle of the ball, belting out rhythmic, graceful, groovy mooves (couldn’t help myself !) until things end in a slippery mess. Her identity and dignity are at steak (er stake), until an unlikely ally establishes Lola's right to dance as much as she wants.
Hawkin's debut picture book reverberates with emotive language and leg-slapping onomatopoeia. Written in verse, it is a delight to read aloud again and again and ripples with an underlying message that any of us, no matter our origins, colour or creed are entitled to explore whatever means of self-expression we wish.
Themes of self-identity and esteem couple gently with ideas of equality and pursuing your heart-felt desires.
Tortop's illustrations are bold, bright, bubbly and barnyards of fun. Highly recommended.
Title: Leaping Lola
Author: Tracey Hawkins
Illustrator: Anil Tortop
Publisher: New Frontier Publishing, $24.99
Publication Date: May 2019
For ages: 3 – 6
Type: Picture Book
Buy the Book: New Frontier Publishing, Booktopia