You're A Star, Lolo
In You’re A Star, Lolo we join Lolo, her Mama, and her Gogo, on four adventures, which include a battle of wills in the kitchen, a gardening project gone awry, a spooky night at home, and a big trip with some unexpected bumps in the road. Through Lolo, writer/illustrator Niki Daly shows us how obstacles big and small can be overcome with some creative thinking, and a little help from the right people.
We are invited to join Lolo in three everyday incidents, and then one fairly alarming journey, demonstrating that a child’s life contains minor mishaps as well as situations where even the adult in charge needs to be creative when in a sticky situation. Accompanying the text are Daly’s greyscale illustrations, which have a gentle energy with plenty of texture, while capturing the special small moments between characters.
In this book, Daly also subtly acknowledges the experience of single working mothers, non-traditional family structures, economic inequality, and older people living active lives, which creates depth beyond just the plot. The setting is Cape Town in South Africa (with an eventful detour to the seaside town of Kleinmond), and it is refreshing to see that Daly focuses on the interaction between characters first, with the location coming into play much later. Overall, this is a delightful quartet of stories, and a pleasure to read aloud. It would also be a great way to introduce young readers in Ireland to characters from different cultures.