LOTTIE PERKINS, MOVIE STAR, and LOTTIE PERKINS, BALLERINA, by Katrina Nannestad and Makoto Koji, ABC Books, Sept. 3, 2019, Softcover, $4.99 (ages 5 and up) and LOTTIE PERKINS: POP SINGER and LOTTIE PERKINS: FASHION DESIGNER, by Katrina Nannestad and Makoto Koji, ABC Books, Jan. 14, 2020, Softcover, $4.99 (ages 5 and up)
With an emerging reader at our house, we’ve been on the lookout for some strong early chapter books. So I jumped at the chance to read/review the Lottie Perkins series written by Katrina Nannestad and illustrated by Makoto Koji.
The series revolves around 7-year-old Lottie Perkins who describes herself as an exceptional child. Lottie is a perky clever girl who thinks she can achieve anything. Lottie has lots of dreams, and each of the four books in this series examines a separate interest — movie star, ballerina, pop singer and fashion designer.
Of course, the path to perfection is riddled with challenges, including Lottie’s arch-enemy, Harper Dark, and a goat capable of getting into all sorts of trouble. But by her side throughout everything is Lottie’s best friend, Sam, who has all sorts of silly catch phrases and believes in his friend with all his heart.
The series is written by Australian author Katrina Nannestad. It was also first published in Australia, so there are a few words that may be confusing to American children. For example, In the US, “jumper” means a collarless, sleeveless dress; but means sweater in the context of these books.
From a parenting perspective, Lottie Perkins has a lot going for it. There’s a lot of positivity and creativity capture here. The books also use one of my least-favorite words — “stupid.” However, the context surrounding the use — a bully using the word and appearing pretty awful — provides a clear a decisive teaching moment without the parent really having to say much at all.
My daughter and I read these a chapter or two at a time, and she really got into them. She’s already wondering what project Lottie will take on next. Now that we’ve clarified any language issues, I’m happy to turn her loose with them. I fully expect them to become our newest “car books.”
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