Leaping Lola

Leaping Lola
Tracey Hawkins and Anil Tortop
New Frontier Publishing

Young Lola the Jersey cow has a penchant for dancing and is energetically practising her steps for the ball to be held that evening in the barn. But then comes information from her mother that entirely deflates Lola: ‘It’s the Black and White Ball’ so a brown cow such as she won’t be welcome.

Having heard her tale of woe, Pearl the pig offers to disguise her friend.

Suitably attired that evening, Lola is admitted to the ball and she’s immediately swept along by the beat of the music as she swoops and slides across the floor, then kicking up her heels she wows the crowd by ‘swirling and twirling her large derrière.’

Then disaster strikes as Lola mistimes her landing and slithers on her stomach through the Friesians

and straight into a tower of milk churns. Chaos ensues as she’s washed clean of her muddy disguise and cries of ‘imposter’ issue from the frightened onlookers. Is that the end for Lola?

Happily not for then up steps the prize-winning bull who urges her to dance no matter what.

And so she does. Led by Lola in a joyful romping, stomping line, all the cows dance the night away.

With plenty of drama, Tracey Hawkins’ lively rhyming text complemented by Anil Tortop’s splendidly expressive illustrations make for a smashing read aloud to share with youngsters who will delight in the spirited mooover, Lola.

The book has much to say about the importance of inclusivity and might well be a starting point for a discussion on the topic of insiders and outsiders.