Lottie Paris Lives Here

Angela Johnson, illus. by Scott M. Fischer. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-87377-5
These in-sync collaborators offer a lighthearted glimpse into a day in the life of a bubbly African-American girl who lives with her Papa Pete in a house across from a park. Johnson's (The Day Ray Got Away) free-association narrative has a chatty cadence: "Do you like Lottie's hat? Uh-huh, me too. Lottie sure can wear a hat. Not everyone can wear a hat like that." Reinforcing the heroine's animated personality, Fischer's (Jump!) punchy gouache paintings reveal Lottie playing in the park, dressing up like a princess, washing her dog with the garden hose, and spending time in the "quiet chair" after she demands cookies (and ignores her vegetables) at dinner and later breaks her father's cellphone. The type also nods to Lottie's energy and spontaneity as it zigzags and swings across the pages. Fischer's art takes liberties that add to the book's sense of playfulness: Papa Pete's face is never revealed; Lottie's extravagant hat is decorated with animals, flowers, and a bright blue feather; and her dog is lavender. Lottie's world is a welcoming one, and she inhabits it fully. Ages 5–9. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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