Monday, September 14, 2020

Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School by Marie Whittaker


Genre: Children’s Picture Book


“Lola Hopscotch is a bashful bunny who is confronted by mean-spirited children at school. Lola stands up for herself and overcomes her sadness, transforming her first day of school into a wondrous day of new friendship and adventure. This story deals with the issue of childhood bullying and rounds out with a wonderful communication hook, picturesque prose, and artistic illustrations by Lily Uivel. Lily captures Lola’s personality and surroundings perfectly as the little bunny triumphs past bashfulness and spreads kindness.

Feeling bashful about the first day of school, Lola Hopscotch is off to the playground. This timid bunny’s world is shaken when other children make fun of her long ears and big feet.

But Lola has much to say and it’s time to play! She meets new friends and stands up for herself, even teaching the children how to play her favorite game. Can you guess which game is Lola’s favorite?”


“Marie Whittaker is an award-winning essayist and cross-genre author of fantasy, thrillers, and children’s books. She is the creator of The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch, which is a children’s book series concentrating on getting sensitive childhood issues out in the open between children and adults. Many of her award-winning short stories appear in numerous anthologies and publications. A Colorado native, Marie resides in Manitou Springs with her two dogs, two cats, and two bunnies, where she writes and enjoys renovating her historic Victorian home. She spends time hiking, gardening, and indulging in her guilty pleasure of shopping for handbags. A lover of animals, Marie is an advocate against animal abuse and assists with lost pets in her community.”


The first thing I did with this book was put it on my Kindle Fire and have my barely seven-year-old granddaughter who is on the verge of finishing up first grade give it a read. When she finished I gave her a short quiz. Did you read it? Yes. Did you like it? Yes. So far, so good.

A few days later I sat her down with the intent of reading the book to her and to see what I thought of the story. The first page had some words that seemed to be stretching the vocabulary of a first grader. A quick quiz determined that she hadn’t actually read the book to herself, but used the capability the Fire has to read it to her. I started reading and as I turned the page she told me that she “really, really likes the pictures in this book.” That has to be a good sign. Partway through I had her read a page or two. Turns out she can sound out those more difficult words better than I’d have guessed and while reading some of these words might be a challenge, that’s reasonable for a relatively new reader. Younger kids will love you reading them the story of Lola’s first day at school and slightly older kids will be reading it on their own.

Of course the most important thing is the story. It’s well-told and has a good lesson. The aforementioned pictures do a great job of illustrating and supporting the story. I’d recommend it and the little blonde girl who read it with me concurs.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 1,000 words

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