Too small Tola

Atinuke

Book - 2021

Presents three tales of an endearing and enduring character, Tola, who lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, brother and grandmommy.

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Subjects
Genres
Short stories
Published
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2021.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Item Description
"First published by Walker Books Ltd. (UK) 2020"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
88 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781536211276
1536211273
Main Author
Atinuke (-)
Other Authors
Onyinye Iwu (illustrator)
  • Too small Tola
  • Small but mighty
  • Easter and Eid.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Each of the three chapters in Atinuke's book for young readers acts as an episodic short story involving Tola, her two older siblings (Dapo and Moji), and their fierce but loving grandmother. All the chapters begin the same way: "Tola lives in a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos." From here, readers will accompany Tola to a bustling outdoor market, see how she and her siblings handle the water going out in their building, and observe her helping the tailor take orders for upcoming Easter and Eid celebrations. This pleasant read will introduce readers to other lifestyles and Nigerian culture, though some back matter on the subjects would have been useful for readers from different cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, Tola is likable, her family relatable, and Iwu's cartoon illustrations will help kids puzzle out unfamiliar words. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Each of the three chapters in Atinuke's book for young readers acts as an episodic short story involving Tola, her two older siblings (Dapo and Moji), and their fierce but loving grandmother. All the chapters begin the same way: "Tola lives in a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos." From here, readers will accompany Tola to a bustling outdoor market, see how she and her siblings handle the water going out in their building, and observe her helping the tailor take orders for upcoming Easter and Eid celebrations. This pleasant read will introduce readers to other lifestyles and Nigerian culture, though some back matter on the subjects would have been useful for readers from different cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, Tola is likable, her family relatable, and Iwu's cartoon illustrations will help kids puzzle out unfamiliar words. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this winning trio of stories, Atinuke (Catch That Chicken!) introduces readers to counting whiz Tola, who lives with her family in "a run-down block of apartments in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of Nigeria." Tola shares a small apartment with her brainy older sister Moji, her soccer star older brother Dapo, and her industrious ("very-very bossy") grandmother, who is raising the children while their father works abroad. Though "everybody calls her Too Small Tola, which makes her feel too-too small," Tola is eager to prove herself. Detailed grayscale illustrations by Iwu accompany the text, enlivening the characters alongside Atinuke's quick conversational text. Though class dynamics are prominent in Tola's life, the stories continually affirm the value of community care: when a neighbor runs out of diapers, Tola brings back more from the market, despite her already heavy basket; when an injury jeopardizes the neighborhood tailor's work during the Eid festival and Easter celebrations, Tola and Dapo travel through the city to collect measurements. Evoking all five senses to render contemporary Nigeria, the creators celebrate the beauty of daily life through Tola's joy, wonder, and perseverance. Ages 7–9. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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 Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Presents three tales of an endearing and enduring character, Tola, who lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, brother and grandmommy.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

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.