Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Lottie Paris Lives Here, written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Scott M. Fischer. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $19.99 ages 5 and up
and that is Lottie's porch,
and these are Lottie's feet.
Ooookay, those aren't
They're Papa Pete's."
I just had to take a close look at the cover to know that I was going to love this Lottie girl! She's got spunk and confidence. You can tell by the man's tie worn around her waist and the too-big wrist watch she wears. A look at the pearly pink background and you know there is a lot of love here.
Who owns that tie and watch? What do you notice on the first double page spread? A curly head pokes above a bush, while a man in socks porch swings, paper in hand and covering his face. His boots are at the ready. We learn quickly it's Lottie's house and there is a park across the street. It's homey, and spacious, basking in a warm and sunny day!
Getting closer, we realize this is going to be some fun! The big feet now sport tiny Mary Janes and we are told they are Lottie's feet even though we still see her in her hiding place. What's going on? Ooookay! They are NOT her feet. They belong to Papa Pete. While Papa carries her red shoes, Lottie wears his big boots! It is a harbringer of what's to come...fun, fun, fun!
" Do you like Lottie's hat?
Uh-huh, me too.
Lottie sure can wear a hat.
Not everyone can wear a hat like that."
On we go to learn more about this charming young girl. She has a spirited imagination and a penchant for cookies, not vegetables. Although we never see Papa Pete, we feel his influence when rude and unreasonable behavior leads to the 'quiet chair' on more than one occasion.
The free flowing movement, the jaunty angles, the ever-changing palette of color perfectly match Lottie's free and easy personality. They add depth and detail while always keeping true to the character who is the focus of this lively and lovely family story.