Friday 23 August 2019

Leaping Lola

Leaping Lola by Tracey Hawkins, illustrated by Anil Tortop, (New Frontier Publishing), HB RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9781925594591

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This is a rollicking, lively feast of fun with Lola, a brown cow who loves to dance on and on (‘High on back haunches, clip-clopping her hooves, Lola flicked up her tail in fabulous moves’). The pirouetting cow is determined to attend the night’s ball: however, her mother tells her the ball is only for black and white cows. Saving the night is Lola’s best friend Pearl the pig who dresses her ‘just right’ and at the end of the night dances with her, too.

At the ball ‘The twang of the band made (Lola) wriggle and giggle, her neck gave a nod, her bottom a jiggle.’ Lola is having a great time ‘swirling and twirling her large derriere’ but then she missteps and knocks over the milk tower, slashing everyone. The other cows cry out their disgust at the impostor, but once again Lola’s night is saved, this time by the prize-winning bull who asks Lola to dance so all can follow her lead.

This is a great read-aloud book, not just because it’s written in rhyming verse, but because there are so many strong verbs just right for moving (dancing) to. Dedication to one’s passion and help from friends are the two themes which are complemented by joyous, brightly coloured illustrations. This is a book sure to be enjoyed by children from three years and up.

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