for Too Small Tola
and Onyinye Iwu
“Tola lives in a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of Nigeria.” Three delightful episodic stories begin with “Too Small Tola,” in which Tola’s big sister is too busy studying, and her older brother is too obsessed by soccer, to help Grandmommy shop. It’s Tola who accompanies her grandmother through the bustling city to the market, carrying the things they buy in a big basket on her head. Her reward for the hard work her siblings avoided comes in the form of tasty treats on the way home. In “Small but Mighty,” Tola helps fill jerry cans at the pump before school after their building’s water goes out. A boy who intentionally trips her gets his comeuppance when all the women in line take a stand against his bullying. And in “Easter and Eid,” Tola enjoys helping the tailor, Mr. Abdul, measure her family for new Easter clothes, and takes pride that her measurements are perfect. When Mr. Abdul breaks his leg, Tola steps in to measure his Easter and Eid customers in a tale, like the others, with a supremely satisfying conclusion. Atinuke continues to strike just the right tone in her charming, perfect-for-reading aloud stories full of details of diverse contemporary life in Lagos, not to mention astute observations about human nature. (Ages 6-9)
CCBC Book of the Week. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
Three delightful tales from a renowned Nigerian storyteller introduce a chapter-book heroine who is every bit as mighty as she is small.
In a trio of droll stories, award-winning author and storyteller Atinuke debuts an endearing and enduring character with plenty to prove. Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she's strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she's clever enough to count out Grandmommy's change. When the faucets in the apartment break, it's Tola who brings water from the well. And when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, has an accident and needs help taking his customers' measurements, only Tola can save the day. Atinuke's trademark wit and charm are on full display, accompanied by delightful illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. Too Small Tola evokes the urban bustle and rich blending of cultures in Lagos through the eyes of a little girl with an outsize will-and an even bigger heart.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.