Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls

­Candlewick. Sept. 2022. 96p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781536225174.
Gr 2-4–It can be a challenge being the youngest of three; luckily Tola has enough spunk and ingenuity to face any problem that comes her way. Tola lives with her older sister, Moji; brother, Dapo; and grandmother in Lagos, Nigeria. This title features three chapters with Tola working through three separate problems. In the first story, Dapo decides to play soccer inside, which is against the rules. The ball gets out of control, causing Grandma’s earrings—family heirlooms—to go missing; the kids are terrified that they are lost forever. When Grandma gets too sick to work in the second story, the children have to figure out a way to collaborate so they can support the family. Tola, in the final tale, becomes jealous of children in her town who are more affluent and learns an important lesson about herself and what is important in her life. Elementary readers will relate to Tola’s interactions with her family as they learn about Nigerian culture. Black-and-white illustrations add to the story and will aid readers in comprehension. The impact of sibling conflicts will ring true with many. The moral of each tale is obvious, the endings can be pat, yet beginning readers will be relieved and happy for Tola’s sake. Some Nigerian vocabulary is used, but not all is defined. This is an entertaining tale about determination and family.
VERDICT A good choice for fans of the author’s previous “Tola” titles; readers will not be disappointed with this pleasant new installment.

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