From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1 Nico's aunt asks her nephew if he would be so kind as to watch her pug, Lola, while she's away. Excited, Nico agrees, but later begins to wonder, "How will I be so kind?" So begins a pleasant story about sharing everyday kindnesses. This book has a wealth of meaningful messages like, "being kind is showing concern for others." Each message is illustrated by the actions of either Nico or Lola as they spend their time together doing doggy and boy activities. Each new page shows the duo participating in excellent behaviors: cleaning, helping one another, sharing, exercising, and getting along with others. The rural, verdant setting adds to the appeal of this story. The photos suffer from some poor composition and digital editing, but the adorable nature of the subjects more than makes up for this. A good choice for teaching core values, this book will have wide appeal for young audiences. Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
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A child and a dog are as complimentary as peanut butter and jelly. Find a dog romping in the back yard and you ll likely find a child, a mud-caked child, in hot pursuit. But what do we, as parents, worry most about our child playing with a dog? Visions of pulling fur, bear hugs, and poking fingers are enough to make us keep these two and four-legged animals apart. But what we learn from Nico and his time spent with Lola is that a young boy can look beyond his own needs to those of his best friend, a much shorter, furry friend. Nico & Lola begins with a phone call, the moment of shear joy for a boy who learns his Aunt s dog Lola needs a sitter. As the hours tick by, Nico can t help to wonder how he will be so kind to Lola. The next morning they quickly breeze past introductions into a game of tag. With each new game they play, Nico discovers new ways of being so kind. This is more than just a boy and his dog. This is a friendship built on mutual respect of each other. The first time I read this book to my five year old daughter; she kept it in bed and looked at the photos for 20 minutes. The next night, it was her first choice and again, she looked at the photos for another 20 minutes. This pattern repeated itself for a number of nights until Nico and Lola graduated to a spot along side her favorites such as Cinderella and Snow White. When you re looking for another subtle way of teaching kids important lessons in life, without boring them beyond belief, Nico and Lola is a good choice. --Fetch Magazine
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for well-written, beautifully illustrated children's books. My children seem to instinctively know which books fall into that category as well, and we have spent many delightful hours reading such books together that will remain in our memories for a very long time. Nico and Lola is one of those books that I can without hesitation call well-written and beautifully illustrated. Rich with color photographs, the story is carried along by the darling boy Nico and his auntie's visiting dog, Lola. Nico is excited to hear that he has been asked to care for Lola while his aunt goes away for a weekend. The tone of the book is set when Nico's Aunt Sue asks, "Would you be so kind as to take care of my little girl?" Nico wonders how he can indeed be a kind caretaker of Lola, but once Lola arrives he finds her irresistible and dives right into his duties with enthusiasm. Throughout the weekend, Nico learns what it means to be so kind. He walks Lola when she needs to get out and run around, brings her water when she's thirsty, surprises her with snacks, and introduces her to his friends. Such acts of kindness are highlighted on each page spread, emphasizing the traits of kindness such as being a good listener, sticking together until the job is done, and helping others in need. At the end of the book, Nico finds it very difficult to let Lola go, for his kindness has forged a friendship between them that has become a joy to little Nico. Aunt Sue promises to take care of Lola, and Nico earns the opportunity to take care of other dogs in the days ahead. Nico and Lola is a sweet book for young children, particularly those who love dogs or animals in general. Its quality binding, lovely story, and beautiful photographs make it a book worth sharing. --Kendra Fletcher, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
This photographic picture book is about a little boy, Nico, taking care of an even smaller dog, Lola, for the weekend while his aunt is out of town. This is a precious book. Nico is so mild mannered and cute and Lola, a small Pug, is adorable. The photos are clean and well lit with vibrant colors. The text emphasizes the importance of being kind and the many ways that one can choose to be kind. The book reinforces responsibility and thoughtfulness without being preachy. It is perfect for the target ages and will help teach good tot/pet relationships. We rated it five hearts. --Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews