cover image Lola Knows a Lot

Lola Knows a Lot

Jenna McCarthy, illus. by Sara Palacios. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-225017-9

“Yup, I am totally ready for school,” says confident, pigtailed Lola on the eve of the big milestone, and her accomplishments are impressive: she can “do a perfect cartwheel, count to ten in Spanish, and hula-hoop with my eyes closed,” for starters. Older sister Charlotte plants a few seeds of doubt (“Can you write your name in cursive? Count to one hundred by fives”?), but Lola quickly regains her bearings when Mom encourages her to “Think of all the things you already know!” And that’s when this book, despite its perpetually smiling, you-go-girl heroine, starts to feel as if it’s running in place. Another catalogue of Lola’s knowledge and talents ensues, with Palacios (the Marisol McDonald series) offering lively but visually literal interpretation of overfamiliar jokes (“I know that your mom gets really, really supermad when you cut your own hair”). By the time McCarthy (the Maggie Malone series) has Lola arrive at her new classroom, readers may feel they know all they need to about her. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company. Illustrator’s agent: Kendra Marcus, Bookstop Literary. (June)