Lola Loves Animals

minedition. Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781662650512.
PreS-K–Lola goes to the zoo with her mother. She visits elephants, gorillas, and giraffes. Unfortunately, a sudden rainstorm cuts the visit short. At home, Lola is put down for a nap, and she dreams of animals. She flies through the sky on an elephant. The gorilla lives in an elk’s antlers. With each new panel, the dream becomes increasingly phantasmagorical. Animals fly through the clouds. Clouds become animals. Lola’s duck toy has her mother’s head. The art style is simple but unique. Most of the characters are composed of distinct shapes. For instance, Lola’s body is a triangle; her head and pigtails are circles. One gorilla has a purple rear end and appears to be anatomically correct. The book’s layout employs an accordion fold design. On one side, against a white background, is Lola’s day trip to the zoo. On the other, against a black backdrop, are Lola’s wild animal dreams. Readers can flip it over again and again, a visual near–Möbius strip of a child’s limitless imagination. The wordlessness, unconventional art style, and unusual continuous visual storytelling of Imapla’s book make it feel like more of a stunning art piece than a typical children’s book.
VERDICT A clever concept, beautifully designed and executed.

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