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.