HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Lola’s Fandango, by Anna Witte | Book Review
Lola's Fandango by Anna Witte

Lola’s Fandango, by Anna Witte | Book Review

Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | March 22, 2014

Lola's Fandango by Anna WitteLola’s Fandango

Written by Anna Witte, Illustrated by Micha Archer, Narrated by The Amador Family

Age Range: 5-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Barefoot Books (September 1, 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-1846866814

What to Expect: Spanish Culture, Flamenco Dancing, Sibling Rivalry, Self-Discovery, Special Birthdays

Lola’s family lives in an apartment building called The Park. Lola admires and envies her older sister, Clementina: Clementina has artistic talent, good looks, beautiful hair, and her own room. Lola wishes she could be just like her.

One day, Lola finds a pair of shoes in her mother’s closet and everything changes. Her mother will only say the shoes are for dancing, not walking. But Lola queries her father and learns her mother was once a flamenco dancer. Her father was, too. Lola talks him into teaching her the dance. “Just your wrists,” says Papi. “Your hands should move like the wings of birds.” She wants it to be a surprise for her mother’s birthday. They practice secretly on the rooftop, when her mother and Clementina go shopping.

Lola's Fandango Illustration

“Lola’s Fandango” Illustration copyright ©, 2011, Micha Archer

Recurring phrases give a reader the feel of the dance: “Toca toca TICA, toca toca TICA. Snap! Snap! Tap! Tap!” The author has many poetic images to convey what Lola is discovering about Flamenco. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text, and there is a short glossary of terms at the end, along with a brief history of Flamenco dancing. (Fandango is just one of many Flamenco rhythms.)

The bright, colorful illustrations have a “collage feel and capture the upbeat energy of this story and the rhythm of the dance. A CD provides narration accompanied by music and clapping. This is a charming book in so many ways, and definitely fun for a family to enjoy together. It will appeal to readers ages 5 to 8, who like stories about Spanish culture, stories about sisters, and surprising revelations about parents.

Add this book to your collection: Lola’s Fandango

About the Author

Anna Witte was born in Germany and grew up in Spain before moving to America where she has lived for the last eighteen years. She has also written and illustrated The Parrot Tico Tango for Barefoot Books. Micha Archer has always loved the way words and pictures go together. Her illustrations are created using gouache, watercolor, pen and ink, and collage. She is influenced by her travels in West Africa, Mexico and Central America. Micha lives in Massachusetts with her family. She has also illustrated The Wise Fool for Barefoot Books. 

About the Illustrator

Micha Archer is an artist, illustrator and educator living in Western Massachusetts.A world traveller, her sense of colour and pattern is influenced by the folk art, crafts, and architecture of India, Nepal, West Africa, and Mexico, among other countries. Working with gouache, watercolours, pen and ink, and collage, she creates layered pieces from various materials on paper and digitally. With a B.A. in Multicultural Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst she taught for 15 years in a Kindergarten classroom. In addition to consulting with teachers on incorporating art into their classrooms, she offers workshops and classes to children, adults and other artists. Her design and illustration clients include; the Massachusetts Department of Parks and Recreation, Liberty Bottles, A series of book covers for Interlink Publishing, Cricket Magazine, McGraw Hill, Hartcourt, Scholastic, Pearson-Scott Foresman and two children’s books with Barefoot Books; Lola’s Fandango and The Wise Fool.

Lola’s Fandango, by Ann White, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan.

Elizabeth Varadan writes for children and adults. Her middle-grade mystery, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls (published June 15, 2015), is set in Victorian London and she is currently working on Book Two. Varadan loves to read and write about the Victorian Era and blogs about the many things she uncovers in her research. Visit: <a href="http://elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com">elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com</a> and <a href="http://victorianscribbles.blogspot.com">victorianscribbles.blogspot.com</a>

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