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Lola Out Loud: The Recipe for Disaster by Shannan and Tayla Stedman

Title: Lola Out Loud: The Recipe for Disaster

A purple cover with pink and white text that reads Lola Out Loud - The Recipe for Disaster. It is by Shannan and Tayla Stedman. It has a blonde girl wearing a green dress with a grey cat in a chef's hat and apron. They are smiling and holding cupcakes.

Author: Shannan and Tayla Stedman

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 1st September 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Price: $15.99

Synopsis: The second book in the brand new, exciting series. Funny, fresh fiction with characters that leap off the page. Perfect for reluctant readers. “Highly recommended”, ReadPlus (May 2021). Themes include humour, friendship, problem solving, cyber safety.

School holidays are here, Lola’s super-fun Aunt Helen is coming, and water parks, waffles and epic challenges for Lola’s vlog are on the menu! Sounds awesome, right? WRONG! Aunt Helen arrives heartbroken, aka no fun at all. Lola and her friends cook up the perfect plan – is love the special ingredient to turn these holidays around? Meanwhile, Stampy has ditched his banjo for a chef’s hat, but are cats and cooking really a winning combo? Talking about the ultimate mix up! Get #LolaOutLoud!

The second release in this much-anticipated series, reunites readers with Lola and her friends and introduces a few more. Even funnier than the first book – if that is possible!

~*~

Lola is back – and this time, she’s on a mission with Vee, Mitch, and younger brother Ryan to cheer Aunt Helen up. Poor Aunt Helen has just broken up with Deathblade, her boyfriend, so all the fun that Lola imagined has gone up in a puff of smoke. So Lola and her friends decide to use Lola’s vlog to find her a date so they can have fun on the holiday – but everything could backfire, and when Lola finds out what Stampy has been up to, things get very interesting. Can Lola fix what she has done and avoid a life where Piper, her number one fan is part of her life and spherical foods, or will Lola finally have found out what meddling in people’s lives online can do?

The second in the Lola series, this book brings the characters we met in the first book back, along with a few new ones who are just as vibrant and fun. Using prose broken up with descriptions of the videos that Lola films, the story is a great one for reluctant readers, with its easy-to-read text and simple yet fun language that can help reluctant or struggling readers to build on their vocabulary in a fun way, where the strange and bizarre, like a cat owning a restaurant and chopping with knives – something Lola and her friends barely bat an eyelid at. This makes the story fun, because it seems completely out there but for kids, and readers like me, this is something that escapism and whimsy brings to stories.

Lola is also a good example of how to deal with things when they go wrong, and can be used to help talk to kids about safety online, bullying, friendship and broken hearts, because it uses these themes to tell the story, and evokes a sense of needing to solve a problem in creative and unique ways – and Lola and her friends do it in a way that only kids can – using whatever they have at hand, of course! I am so pleased to be continuing Lola’s journey with her – and I love that it makes issues around Internet usage accessible for kids and gives them an easy way to explore and talk about Internet usage without being didactic. These lessons are often best presented in creative and fun ways for readers, as at work and at school, we get so much didactic instruction. If we can learn whilst enjoying something, it can make it stick with us easily, and this creates a powerful lesson and learning curve for readers. It also shows that learning can be fun, and everything we learn about can be made fun if we try.

Lola’s stories are relatable for kids these days, and because they’re living in a COVID free world (really loving my run of COVID-free books, it’s comforting and reassuring), kids that are reading these books can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is a world where COVID and lockdowns don’t exist. The delight in these books is that we can escape our real world of lockdowns or restrictions during these times, and just spend time chilling out and being entertained by fantastic words and characters that come to life from page one, and continue to grow throughout the story.

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