Too Small Tola is the first in a glorious new young fiction series from Atinuke, (author of the fablous No1 Car Spotter), and illustrator Onyinye Iwu, and it’s absolutely delightful.
Divided into three lovely short stories we meet lovely Tola, the youngest of three siblings – EVERYone always thinks she is too small. Tola sometimes believes this herself, but with her Grandmummy by her side she begins to feel a lot taller.
“Tola lives in a run-down block of flats in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of Nigeria. She lives with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast and Grandmummy, who is very-very bossy.”
Atinuke’s calm, gentle tone takes us through Tola’s trip to the market in the opening story. Her siblings refuse to come and help, but Tola gets the last giggle thanks to Grandmummy’s treats. The final story, ‘Easter and Eid’ was my favourite – not only do we get to travel around Lagos, but we see Tola grow as she’s given a super important job involving her very favourite thing… numbers.
Onyinye Iwu’s fab drawings are on every page – they bring us into the markets and capture Moji’s “A* look of concentration” brilliantly!
There’s very subtle repetition of some key lines in each of the stories – its super subtle and super clever, and will provide young readers with a burst of confidence. Just like Tola.
Too Small Tola is a wonderfully warm read.
Warm, heartfelt and super lovely.
What a brilliant start to a brand new series!