Kid’s Book Review: Too Small Tola Gets Tough

Kid’s Book Review: Too Small Tola Gets Tough

About the Book and Author

This slim book contains three short stories about Too Small Tola, a young girl who, though small, is very determined. The Too Small Tola books by Atinuke are perfect for children who are enjoying reading independently as they are not too overwhelming in length and the stories are accompanied with black and white illustrations by Onyinye Owu.

Tola is an inspiring central character, full of spirit and with a big brave heart. Our young reviewer learning about what her life might be like if she lived in Nigeria and reflected upon the differences between Tola’s experiences  and her own. She also found the capital city, Lagos on the map with her mummy.


Too Small Tola cover

Atinuke was born and grew up in Nigeria but she now lives in the UK. She writes children’s books because she loves the vibrancy, joy, wisdom and humour of her own African culture,  and she enjoys sharing its warmth with her readers through her stories.

She introduces modern life in Africa to children all over the world, showing how amazing African traditions and cultures are, and how our human joys and sorrows are the same the world over.

She also tells traditional African stories which make her international audiences laugh and cry. Her books have been published in the UK, USA, France and Japan and have won lots of awards. You can read more about the Anna Hibiscus stories she has written by visiting her website.

This book is illustrated throughout by artist Onyinye Iwe, whose parents are also Nigerian. You can find out more about Onyinye and the other books she has illustrated by visiting her website.


Book Review

I really liked this book because I liked learning about Nigeria

I really liked this book because I liked learning about Nigeria and how they felt when the corona virus came.

I thought Tola was very brave when she had to move away from her grandmummy I don’t think I would be able to leave my house. I think I am very lucky that I do not have to pay to go to school or that I have to work as I am only 7 years old

My favourite bit is when Tola saves the rich man money because she sees that the diesel man has been stealing from Mr Diamond and she gets a reward which means she can go back to her home. I think Moses was very nice and she was right to trust him.

I would like to read other stories about Tola and learn more about her life in Nigeria I think it is very different then it is in England we are lucky that our lights do not just turn off and we do not need a generator to keep them on.

Mum’s comments: Storm was very excited when the post man delivered her a new book to read. She couldn’t but this one down and asked lots of questions and with help looked up Lagos in Nigeria online to see what it looked like.

Another young reader reviewed Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls.

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

Or, you can shop on-line and support our Kids Reviews page by sourcing your discounted book via this link

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!


Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Storm
  • Age: 7 years
  • Likes: mermaids, fairies and space
  • Dislikes: mushrooms and wasps
  • Favourite Book: The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
  • Favourite Song: Mother Knows Best (Tangled)
  • Favourite Film: We Can Be Heros