Lala's Words by Gracey Zhang
This is a perfect summer book! Energetic young readers will connect to Lala, the vibrant, energetic and loving young protagonist whose mother wishes she would slow down and stay clean. The black and white pen and wash illustrations begin as a study in gray except for Lala's sunshine yellow dress. Lala's special place is a vacant lot filled with weeds that she tends, speaking to them kindly and with encouraging words. When Lala is kept at home, away from the plants and the dirt the plants magically grow to shade the entire neighborhood. Finally Lala's mother speaks lovingly to Lala and the drawings are illuminated by the yellow sunshine and green leaves. Expect young readers to pore over the illustrations with their details of Lala's urban neighborhood and demand repeated readings of the text. For some lucky readers, this will be the summer of Lala's words.