Lola Loves Stories — Perfect Picture Book Friday

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.”

27 thoughts on “Lola Loves Stories — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. You know, I was actually in the act of writing this book (or something very similar!) so I’m really glad you posted it – now I know it’s been done! 🙂 This book looks delightful – thanks so much for adding it to the list – such a great topic!

  2. What you shared about this books really emits a spotlight on the joys of reading and the use of imagination, both of which are very important and make for lots of fun. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  3. What a wonderful book. Going to the library, especially in the summer, is one of my great childhood memories. And now I take the boys at least once a week (I am constantly picking up books for research). Because of PBFF we always have a deluge of books!

  4. This sounds very sweet. My youngest son does this with books, movies, TV shows, video games. It all sparks wonderful creative play. This morning we were on the starship Voyager, battling enemies and discovering new planets. Thanks, Beth!

  5. I also always love to see more African American families and children portrayed in picture books as they are still so underrepresented. Love this choice Beth!

  6. This just makes me look forward even more to when I have a little 7year old running around our place for a week in August. Love to see what books he likes and his imagination working overtime….Can’t wait! The library will be one trip on the list of to do’s….

    1. Oh, that’s going to liven up your household, Diane! Enjoy the visit to the full. Glad the library’s on your list.

    1. There’s another book that’s about the same character and subject, Lola Loves the Library — I bet you’d love them both!

  7. When I was little, I was always surrounded by books…couldn’t stop listening to them…and when old enough, couldn’t stop reading them. I love this book…and know it will encourage kids and their parents to make use of the library more and more and more. 🙂
    Thank you, Beth, for sharing this great story…and the resource and activtiy is wonderful!

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