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Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls (Paperback)
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Too Small Tola is back—and as determined as ever—in a second trio of winning stories about a diminutive heroine with a big-big heart.
Acclaimed author and storyteller Atinuke reunites with illustrator Onyinye Iwu for a follow-up to their highly acclaimed first chapter book about a little girl with a mighty will and charm to spare. Too Small Tola lives in an apartment with her clever sister, Moji; her big brother, Dapo; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. In the first of three endearing new adventures, Tola is sized just right to wriggle under the bed and rescue Grandmommy’s prized possession when it goes missing. Her savvy and math skills save the day when Grandmommy gets sick, and when the family can’t afford new clothes, industrious Tola finds a way—with a little help from Grandmommy—to be just as fine as the three fine girls she so greatly admires. Richly patterned black-and-white art and Atinuke’s captivating wit evoke an authentic and close-knit urban community and the vibrant energy of Lagos, Nigeria, through the eyes of a tiny but resolute heroine with something to teach us all.
About the Author
Atinuke was born in Nigeria and spent her childhood in both Africa and the UK. She is the author of the best-selling Anna Hibiscus series, as well as Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country, illustrated by Mouni Feddag, and the celebrated Too Small Tola, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu. Atinuke started her career as an oral storyteller of tales from the African continent; now she writes about contemporary life in Nigeria. Atinuke lives on a mountain overlooking the sea in Wales.
Onyinye Iwu was born in Italy to Nigerian parents and moved to England when she was thirteen. She is a designer, illustrator, and educator. She is also the illustrator of Too Small Tola, which was her first book for children. Onyinye Iwu lives in London.
This poignant book conveys great warmth and familial love despite the characters’ tenuous circumstances. Tola is an endearing and utterly relatable protagonist. The tale uses colloquialisms and references that will make Nigerian readers feel at home. . . . Mighty fine!
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Atinuke uses her powerful storyteller’s voice to create a vivid picture of a strong, loving matriarch; a family surrounded by supportive friends; and Tola, an irresistible heroine who does what she can to help. With large type, plenty of white space on the page, and energetic line drawings throughout, the book is approachable for many young readers, who will be well rewarded for their efforts.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
It’s impossible not to love Atinuke’s little protagonist, who never lets her small size get in the way of her big personality or dreams. The frequent grayscale chapter illustrations will help readers who may be unfamiliar with aspects of Tola’s Nigerian life and culture. A great read-alike for Juana & Lucas fans, the Too Small Tola series is a wonderful addition to early-chapter-book collections.
Elementary readers will relate to Tola’s interactions with her family as they learn about Nigerian culture. . . an entertaining tale about determination and family. A good choice for fans of the author’s previous 'Tola' titles; readers will not be disappointed with this pleasant new installment.
—School Library Journal
Tola and her family are very likable and have a believable relationship where you can tell they love each other even when they are not getting along. . . gives a clear picture of what it can be like to live in poverty without being too graphic for young readers.
—School Library Connection