Nico & Lola, by Meggan Hill; photography by Susan M. Graunke (ages 3-8)
I’m not inclined to like books that have an “in your face” moral lesson, but Nico & Lola teaches so gently and sweetly that I was completely drawn into the book. Little Nico’s Aunt Sue asks him if he would be so kind as to take care of her pug, Lola, for a weekend. Nico is thrilled, and proceeds to think of ways in which he can be so kind to Lola during her visit.
Each two-page spread has a description of Nico’s activities with Lola, photographs of Nico and Lola, and a summary of the kindness shown. When Lola arrives at Nico’s house, they go straight to the backyard to play tag. When Lola begins huffing and puffing after a few games, Nico offers her a bowl of water. “Being kind is showing concern for others.”
The photographs are wonderful, and the text is sweet without being saccharine. Children and adults alike will be drawn to this little boy and his little pug friend.
Nico & Lola, by Meggan Hill; Genuine Prints LLC, 2009, $16.95