McQuinn and Beardshaw’s (Leo Can Swim, 2016, etc.) adorable, black preschool heroine, Lola, is back for another turn. Lola loves cats, as is evident by her bedroom full of plush cat dolls and feline artwork, but what Lola desires most of all is a real-life cat to call her own. Mommy is hesitant, warning that “looking after a cat is a lot of work,” but when Lola proves she is up to the task, Mommy relents and accompanies Lola to the animal shelter to select a kitten to rescue. “Before Lola can decide, one little cat chooses her!” Many readers will surely appreciate the plotline of shelter-animal pet adoption. Once their home is prepared, Lola and Mommy bring the kitten home, where Lola dubs her Makeda after “an African queen.” Throughout, Beardshaw’s signature bright acrylic illustrations with soft edges pop with youthful exuberance. Details such as Lola’s simple care chart may even serve as inspiration for other young aspiring pet owners. The simple text makes this a suitable story for sharing one-on-one or in a small group or for beginning readers to pursue independently. This sweet story of first-time pet ownership is sure to appeal to young animal lovers of all kinds and especially to feline fanciers.
– Kirkus Reviews
Lola loves cats. She loves them so much that she wants one for a pet. Her sensible mother informs her that taking care of a pet is a lot of work. Lola goes to the library and takes out books so she and her mother can read about cats. She learns how to care for them and discovers some interesting feline traits. Lola practices on her stuffed cat Dinah to help prepare for a pet. She is determined to show her parents that she’s responsible enough to have one. Eventually, her mother agrees, and they begin to explore the process of adopting a cat. This isn’t just a sweet story about a little girl working hard to get a pet. It’s also about responsibility. Lola learns how to make the best life for the cat she will bring home. Children can see how gentle she is with her timid kitten, Makeda. She’s attentive and patient when she brings her pet home, and she takes good care of Makeda by feeding, caring for, and loving her. Lola is a cute and lovable character to whom children can relate. The illustrations are large and vibrant. The text is sizable but not obtrusive. VERDICT A solid introduction to pet ownership, probably best shared one-on-one.
—School Library Journal
Lola longs to adopt a cat. Her mother warns that looking after a pet takes work, but Lola persists, reading about cats, learning about them, and using one of her stuffed animals for practice. When Mommy agrees, they visit a shelter and find the right one. Next, they gather supplies and prepare a special cat corner at home. When they first bring the cat there, Lola watches from a little distance while she explores. Giving her food, water, and gentle care, Lola helps her feel at home. As in Lola Plants a Garden (2014), the simple, understated text hits just the right note for young children, while the acrylic paintings portray the characters with warmth and just enough detail. Depicted with cocoa-brown skin and curly, dark hair, Lola and her parents stand in for every family that prepares for a new pet in a sensible, empathetic way. Adults preparing kids for a new cat will find this appealing picture book a good way to balance their children’s excitement with consideration for the animal’s point of view. —Booklist