The School Library Journal gave a very nice, starred review of our first Last-But-Not-Least LOLA book. Below is the full review, or you can find it on the SLJ website. Thanks so much to SLJ and reviewer Sada Mozer, it means a lot to us!
PAKKALA , Christine. Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 192p. Boyds Mills. 2013. RTE $15.95. ISBN 9781590789353. LC 2013938848.
Gr 2-4 –In school, when your surname begins with “Z,” it means being last at everything. Last to be called on. Last to go to lunch. Last to leave at the end of the day. But Lola Zuckerman’s desire to go to the head of her class is the focus of this winning, environmentally themed book. Competing to win the coveted “green” vest by coming up with the best recycling project, the second grader anxiously watches as her classmates nab all the best ideas. The vest was previously won by her older brother, so Lola really feels the pressure. She is also competing against her former best friend, Amanda. The characters are fully developed, each with their own delightful quirks. For example, her teacher, Mrs. Denedebetti, loving refers to her students in candy terms such as “Jujubes” and “Gummy Bears.” However, when they cause a food fight in the cafeteria, they’re just “class.” Children will root for Lola as she tries to mend fences, save the planet, and come out on top. The lessons of recycling are creatively explored, showing readers big and small ways to help our planet. Those who have enjoyed “Clementine” will welcome this contemporary tale as it tackles family, competition, friendship, and the environment. The pencil drawings are energetic, and the list of Lola’s classmates gives a real sense of what the child is up against. A great choice for early chapter-book readers.–