Too Small Tola

Too Small Tola
Akinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu
Walker Books

Small in stature young Tola may be but she’s one determined little girl – a mighty force to be reckoned with. Tola lives with her older, very clever sister Moji, her fleet of foot brother Dapo and her very bossy Grandmummy in a flat in Lagos. There are three stories in this, the first of a new series and we meet not only these family members, but in addition encounter many other residents of the city.

The first episode sees Tola accompanying Grandmummy on a trip to the market. During their journey they find themselves taking on shopping for friends and neighbours in addition to their own, and Tola helps Grandmummy ensure the market vendors don’t cheat her.

In Small but Mighty Tola and Moji cope with no electricity and no water. They go to the nearby pump where Tola and some of the local ladies demonstrate woman power to the stroppy Ododi Brothers.

Easter and Eid are both fast approaching in the final story. It’s a busy time especially for tailor Mr Abdul as everybody wants to celebrate with new clothes. But then the tailor is knocked off his bicycle while out and about collecting measurements; his leg is broken, but not his sewing machine. Can Tola, with her excellent measuring skills, come to his aid so that all his customers are satisfied.

As well as giving an insight into city life in Lagos, Nigeria, these stories are bursting with love for family and friends, warmth and affection for the local community. With delightful illustrations (love the cover art) by Onyinye Iwu on every spread, this is a smashing chapter book for newly confident readers.