My Life as Lotta: A House Full of Rabbits

Sterling. (My Life as Lotta: Bk. 1). Oct. 2019. 184p. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781454936244.
Gr 3-6–This adorable, highly illustrated story is about Lotta, who is 12 and starting middle school. She has younger, annoying twin brothers and they live with their teacher dad, and their mom who seems to do a lot of shopping. Lotta has a quirky best friend, Cheyenne; they don’t seem to get along very well with the other kids at school, but are not too concerned with popularity. Lotta is very interested in getting a pet, but her parents have resolutely said no to anything except the turtle they already have. Cheyenne, on the other hand, has lots of rabbits. Lotta decides she should show some responsibility and determines that walking her neighbor’s dog would be a good way to do that. Unfortunately, Lotta takes the leash off the dog even though the neighbour said not to. The dog jumps into a pond and gets dirty. Lotta gives the dog a bath but since they are almost out of shampoo, she chooses to bathe him with toilet cleaner. The neighbor is not amused. This book would appeal to kids who like Rachel Renée Russell’s “Dork Diaries” and Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. The cheerful drawings are exuberant and will help readers who might struggle with the text. Adults might be alarmed at some of the things that happen in the book, like bathing a dog with toilet cleaner (which would probably be fatal) or having lots of rabbits roaming a house without any apparent limits, or taking a rather large sum of money out of mom’s wallet without asking and without any consequences.
VERDICT Kids will like this book because of the funny situations and charming drawings, but adults will probably think twice about the choices that Lotta makes.

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