Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A child channels her fierce sense of fairness into action in this dynamic imagining of the youth of Dolores Huerta (b. 1930). Greeting guests to their family hotel with "welcome-home warmth and a gleaming brass key," Lola and her mother "kept their hearts open... sleeves rolled up... hands ready to help." Yet Lola's imagination and talkativeness interrupt her chores, and her mother chides: "When you see a problem, fix it." Lola's grandfather, meanwhile, nicknames her "Lolita Siete Lenguas... Little Lola, Seven Tongues, all fighting to be heard," and when she perceives two people being treated unjustly, she sets out to fix the problem and uncovers her life's path, years later speaking out for farmworkers. Torres's rhythmic descriptions center physical action, and hyphenated triadic adjectives pulse musically throughout. Palacios's warm-toned gouache and acrylic illustrations center earthy hues and scratchy textures. End notes contextualize the life of Huerta. Ages 4--8. (Aug.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 3--When Lola begins helping her mama and grandfather at their hotel, cleaning and welcoming guests, she learns the value of empathy, hard work, and using one's voice to create positive change. Inspired by actual events in activist Dolores "Lola" Huerta's childhood, this narrative has a gentle, authentic rhythm and a whole lot of heart. Lola is a nonstop talker, who is curious about their guests and is often reminded by her mama to stop singing and twirling like a flamenco dancer. She's also observant and compassionate, noticing how her mama welcomes guests in to stay, even when they can't pay. The smooth integration of minimal Spanish words and phrases, such as Huerta's famous "sí se puede," along with onomatopoeia and the repetition of phrases and movement, make this an excellent choice for storytelling interaction. The art appears in a muted palette, establishing Lola's historical time line. This is evident when the palette jumps to bold colors on the final spread, when she's an adult, demonstrating change and strength. Rendered with gouache, acrylic, and digital media, the scenes convey a rich range of expression and detail, and young children will delightfully follow Lola's cat. An author's note is included. VERDICT A first purchase for every library, this is an empowering story about speaking up.--Rachel Zuffa
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
"¡Si se puede!" A day in the life of a young Dolores Huerta is imagined in this story of activism. Lola helps Mama run the Hotel Delano. She delivers fresh towels, washes windows, and sets the dinner table--the only thing she can't seem to do is stop talking! Her grandfather calls her "Lolita Siete Lenguas" ("Little Lola, Seven Tongues, all fighting to be heard") and tells her, "For now, you must be quiet" but adds, "Sometimes one strong voice is just what we need." When Lola, looking out her window, spots a woman and a girl getting kicked off the cable car for being unable to pay, she knows she must act. Remembering her mother's admonition to fix a problem when it arises rather than pretending it isn't there, she races downstairs to welcome them into the hotel. Lola grows up to be a tireless advocate for farmworkers' rights and uses her "seven tongues" to fight for social justice causes. This uncomplicated story will encourage readers to speak up when they see someone in need. Warm illustrations give characters--depicted in various shades of brown--a friendly tone. In an author's note, Torres explains that while this incident was imagined, the story is inspired by Huerta's childhood; Torres also provides details of Huerta's iconic labor organizing work. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Kids can make a difference, which Lola proves with gusto. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.