Monday, June 27, 2022

Review: Fly High, Lolo by Niki Daly

I decided to take this last weekend off from reviews (even I need a breather every now and then). So, I was able to hit today's read with a small gust of new-found energy...which is great since it's about an eagle flying! Well, a type of eagle. 

Today's read greets from South Africa and is one in a series of chapter books, which centers around a little girl named Lolo and her daily life adventures. The author has won a prize or two for the series, and since it promises to be a cute read, I wanted to take a peek.

Ready to flap into adventure with me?

by Niki Daly
Chapter Book / Contemporary
96 pages
ages 5 to 9

Four new easy to read stories about the delightful and irrepressible Lolo and her daily life in a South African township, perfect for early readers.

In Fly High, Lolo, Lolo dreams of being an eagle in the school play; meets Miss Teen the Beauty Queen; goes on a beach clean-up with Mama and her new friend; and makes beautiful, recycled Christmas decorations.

These tales of school life, home life, and street life in today's South Africa are perfect offerings for a diverse society. The Lolo series are pitched first readers for children who are moving from picture books to chapter books, and are illustrated with delightful black and white drawings by the author.



Accompanied with capturing illustrations the entire way through, this collection of short stories presents an energetic girl from one cute, experience to the next.

Four stories make up, and the reader accompanies Lolo through each one. From wishing to have a certain role in a class play to making Christmas decorations by recycling unwanted objects, readers will sink into the familiar situations, while learning a little about Lolo's life in South Africa. The tales are written for those, who are sure of their words but aren't quite ready, yet, for middle grade novel. 

The situations Lolo faces are those, which many kids come across, and that makes each one very relatable. Her attitude remains on the positive side and she's always kind, while trying to figure things out. There are heavier messages, at times, but Lolo still shines at the center, so they don't steal her show.

Black and white illustrations accompany every page and let Lolo come to life in a way, which will have readers wanting to play with her. This is also where the cultural end comes through, and the reader gets a glimpse into what her life is like in South Africa.

This is an enjoyable, chapter book read, which adds a nice mix of fun, positivity, and hint of cultural knowledge...and is very accessible to the intended age group.

And here he is...

Niki Daly’s groundbreaking Not So Fast Songololo, winner of a US Parent’s Choice Award, paved the way for post-apartheid South African children’s books. Among his many books, Niki Daly’s Jamela’s Dress was chosen by the ALA as a Notable Children’s Book and by Booklist as one of the Top 10 African American Picture Books of 2000. It also won both the Children’s Literature Choice Award and the Parents’ Choice Silver Award. Niki lives with his wife, the author and illustrator Jude Daly, in South Africa.

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