Title: Lola Loves Stories

Author: Anna McQuinn

Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw

Publisher: Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2010

(First published in the UK by Alanna Books in 2009, as Lulu Loves Stories.)


Genre: Picture book/concept book

Audience Age: 2-5

Themes/topics: Reading, reading aloud, libraries, imagination, acting out stories, imaginative play

Opening Sentences: Lola’s daddy takes her to the library on Saturdays. The library is very busy, but Lola finds some excellent books.

Synopsis: Every Saturday, Lola and her daddy bring a pile of picture books home from the library. Each night either daddy or mommy reads one of the stories to Lola and the next day she acts out whatever happened in the story the night before. She becomes a fairy princess, a pilot (with a wooden spoon and a spatula stuck in the bottom of a cardboard box for her controls), she tries her hand at farming and building, she delights in her sparkly magic shoes even through the next night’s story about a monster (the illustration is an obvious homage to Max in Where the Wild Things Are).

Activities/Resources: The first and most obvious activity to accompany this book is a trip to the library. That could be extended by trying to find books like those Lola and her parents read – The Very Fairy Princess, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, and Where the Wild Things Are, come readily to mind. The next logical step is to encourage free imaginative play growing out of these reading experiences.

There is an activity guide for this book and its companion, Lola Loves the Library, at the publisher’s website (links are just below the double page spread sample illustration).

The What to Expect website for expectant parents gives tips on introducing small children to the library.

The website Play Activities has a list of 9 Ways to Encourage Imaginative Play.

PBS Parents has suggestions about encouraging imaginative play as well.

Availability: Readily available in paperback.

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

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