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Too Small Tola



by
Atinuke
illustrated by
Onyinye Iwu

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9781536211276
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$18.30   $15.25
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Three delightful tales from a renowned Nigerian storyteller introduce a chapter-book heroine who is every bit as mighty as she is small.

In a trio of droll stories, award-winning author and storyteller Atinuke debuts an endearing and enduring character with plenty to prove. Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she’s strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she’s clever enough to count out Grandmommy’s change. When the faucets in the apartment break, it’s Tola who brings water from the well. And when Mr. Abdul, the tailor, has an accident and needs help taking his customers’ measurements, only Tola can save the day. Atinuke’s trademark wit and charm are on full display, accompanied by delightful illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. Too Small Tola evokes the urban bustle and rich blending of cultures in Lagos through the eyes of a little girl with an outsize will—and an even bigger heart.Black-and-white illustrations. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

96

Trim Size

7 4/5" x 5 3/10"

Dewey

F

AR

3.6: points 1

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2021

Book Genres

Early Chapter Book

Topics

Family life. Lagos, Nigeria. Apartment buildings. Multigenerational families. Siblings. Markets. Water. Easter. Eid. Tailors. New clothes. 

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–To everyone’s surprise, Tola is not too small to do big things. Living in Nigeria with her grandmother and siblings, Moji and Dapo, is not always easy for Tola. The family’s apartment is small and in need of a makeover, not to mention that the electricity and water situation is unpredictable. But through it all, young Tola shows she can be a big influence. When Grandmommy needs her help at the market, Tola is skeptical but is able to carry the goods home safely. The day the water runs short, Tola is not too small to figure out how to confront the local bullies, the Ododi boys, who are causing trouble by the water pump. Most of all, she proves to be a lifesaver as she stands in for Mr. Abdul, the tailor, by taking his customer’s measurements while his broken leg mends. Throughout the story we see evidence of Tola’s tight-knit and diverse community. ­VERDICT An appropriate and enjoyable beginning chapter book for young readers who are transitioning from picture books. –­Martha Rico, Yselta I.S.D., TX

Horn Book

Tola is small, but she is mighty. In three episodic chapters, Tola uses her not-inconsequential perseverance to help her grandmother, other family members, and those in her wider Lagos community. As she does in her chapter books about Anna Hibiscus (Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus!; You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus!, both rev. 11/17, and others.), Atinuke provides child-friendly particulars that create a vivid picture of the present-day African setting (and just as in the Anna Hibiscus titles, continually re-sets the scene: “Tola lives in a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of Nigeria”). When the water is not working in their apartment building, Tola and her siblings must fill jerry cans at a nearby tap, lining up with their neighbors before school. When Abdul the tailor visits Tola’s family to measure them for their matching Easter outfits (“Easter and Eid do not often happen at the same time, and celebrations are all anybody is talking about”), he rides his bicycle with his sewing machine strapped on the back. Atinuke’s writing is rich with imagery and replicates the music and rhythm of Tola’s daily life. The stories are copiously illustrated with line drawings of a round-faced, appealingly welcoming protagonist. The friendly format, universal emotional truths, helpful illustrations, and strong writing work together to immerse young readers in Tola’s world. MAEVE VISSER KNOTH

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–To everyone’s surprise, Tola is not too small to do big things. Living in Nigeria with her grandmother and siblings, Moji and Dapo, is not always easy for Tola. The family’s apartment is small and in need of a makeover, not to mention that the electricity and water situation is unpredictable. But through it all, young Tola shows she can be a big influence. When Grandmommy needs her help at the market, Tola is skeptical but is able to carry the goods home safely. The day the water runs short, Tola is not too small to figure out how to confront the local bullies, the Ododi boys, who are causing trouble by the water pump. Most of all, she proves to be a lifesaver as she stands in for Mr. Abdul, the tailor, by taking his customer’s measurements while his broken leg mends. Throughout the story we see evidence of Tola’s tight-knit and diverse community. ­VERDICT An appropriate and enjoyable beginning chapter book for young readers who are transitioning from picture books. –­Martha Rico, Yselta I.S.D., TX

Horn Book

Tola is small, but she is mighty. In three episodic chapters, Tola uses her not-inconsequential perseverance to help her grandmother, other family members, and those in her wider Lagos community. As she does in her chapter books about Anna Hibiscus (Welcome Home, Anna Hibiscus!; You’re Amazing, Anna Hibiscus!, both rev. 11/17, and others.), Atinuke provides child-friendly particulars that create a vivid picture of the present-day African setting (and just as in the Anna Hibiscus titles, continually re-sets the scene: “Tola lives in a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of Nigeria”). When the water is not working in their apartment building, Tola and her siblings must fill jerry cans at a nearby tap, lining up with their neighbors before school. When Abdul the tailor visits Tola’s family to measure them for their matching Easter outfits (“Easter and Eid do not often happen at the same time, and celebrations are all anybody is talking about”), he rides his bicycle with his sewing machine strapped on the back. Atinuke’s writing is rich with imagery and replicates the music and rhythm of Tola’s daily life. The stories are copiously illustrated with line drawings of a round-faced, appealingly welcoming protagonist. The friendly format, universal emotional truths, helpful illustrations, and strong writing work together to immerse young readers in Tola’s world. MAEVE VISSER KNOTH

Grades 2-4
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Children who can read on their own will love this category. The 12 books per year you get in this category range from picture books to early chapter books. Many of these compelling fiction and nonfiction titles feature large print and eye-catching artwork.

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