Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta

Little, Brown. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316530125.
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.

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