Lola Levine: Drama Queen

Lola Levine: Drama Queen
by Monica Brown

Illustrated by Angela Dominguez

Readers Theater

Book Trailer

Author Interview

Illustrator Interview

Related Activities & Resources:

Informational Resources:

Author Information:

Monica Brown site:

Monica Brown bio:

Lola Levine educators’ guide and activities:

Interview with Monica Brown about becoming an author – in nine segments: (total time 8:97):

Illustrator Information:

Angela Dominguez website:

Angela Dominguez Twitter account:

Angela Dominguez bio:

Angela Dominguez blog:

MamaSmiles Google Hangout interview with Angela Dominguez (12:25):

KidLit TV interview with Angela Dominguez (11:00):

The Van Show interview with Angela Dominguez (3;22):

Activities & Resources:


Write a readers theater for a favorite story.

Write and act out a short play or dramatic monologue.

How to keep a kids diary:

How to play soccer – brief overview:

Basic rules of soccer (5:23):

Jokes, puns and riddles for kids to tell:

Cat information:

Butterfly information:

Improvisation for kids:

Gardening with kids:

Common Greek root words (scroll down to second section):

How to blow bubbles:

Bio of Dolores Huerta:

How to make ice cream:

How to write a simple screenplay:

More tips to write a play:

How to build a stage:

Memory tricks:

MakerSpace Activities:

Design and build a backdrop for a play.

Create costumes for a play.

Make puppets and put on a show:

Design and make a garden ornament:

Create a stop motion movie.

Discussion Questions:

Lola and Josh are best friends. Do you have a best friend? If so, what things do you like to do together? Josh’s Mom is the principal at Lola’s school. If you were Josh or Lola, do you think this would be an awkward situation? Why or why not?

If Lola was your classmate, do you think you would be friends? Why or why not?

Lola and Ben call their grandmother Bubbe. What do you call your grandmother(s)? Has the name changed as you have gotten older?

Ben is Lola’s little brother and sometimes she thinks he is a pain. If you have a younger brother or sister, do you agree with Lola? Explain.

Each chapter in Lola Levine: Drama Queen, began with an illustration that previewed something about that chapter. Did you notice the illustration? If so, did it heighten your anticipation? Why or why not?

Lola liked to write in her diario. Have you kept a diary or a journal? If so, how old were you and how often did you use it? Did it have a lock? If you don’t still use one, why did you stop? Explain.

Lola thought that Ms. Garcia was the best teacher ever. Have you had a favorite teacher? Why did you especially like this teacher? Did you know a teacher whose class you wanted to be in, but it didn’t happen? If so,why did you want to be in that class? Explain.

Ben asked Lola for help because he had cut Mira’s hair to get the bubble gum out of it. If you had gotten there before the haircut, what would you have done to help? Have you ever cut your own or someone else’s hair? If so, what happened next?

Ben liked to tell jokes. Do you think telling jokes is fun? Do you like listening to jokes? Why or why not? If possible, tell one or two jokes or riddles.

Lola had successfully tried out for her soccer team so she thought the play tryouts would be similar to that. How were the play tryouts different than she imagined? Have you ever tried out or auditioned for anything? If so, how did it go?

Lola had to write a monologue to audition for the class play. If you had to create a monologue, what or who would you write about?

Have you experienced stage fright? If so, what did you do? Did it keep you from trying out another time? If you are comfortable performing, what advice can you give to those who get stage fright?

Lola’s Bubbe paid her a surprise visit. Has one of your relatives surprised you with a visit? If so, was it a special occasion? How did you feel?

Bubbe told Lola that it was important to be nice to people, even if they weren’t nice to her. Do you agree? Is it hard to be nice to classmates who don’t treat you well? Explain.

Lola’s dad told her to ignore people if they are mean to you. What do you think? Which is better advice? Could they both work? What do you do if someone treats you badly?

Bubbe told Lola that she was smart and special and loud and dramatic. Explain how someone might describe you.

Lola had to say Juan’s lines during the class play and she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to memorize them. Do you have a system for memorizing things? If so, how does it work?

Bubbe explained to Lola that we can’t always get what we want at the exact time that we want it. What do you think Bubbe meant and do you agree? Why or why not?

Lola said that boys and girls should look however they want. Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

Lola’s squirrel tail got caught on a tree root. When she asked Makayla for help, she refused. If you had been Makayla, would you have helped Lola? Why or why not?

What did you think of Lola’s improvisation when her tail got caught? What would you have done if that had been you? How would you have felt if a relative had run up on stage to help cover your torn clothing? Explain.

Book Talk Teasers:

Quietly ask a volunteer to act out attempting to give a speech while experiencing stage fright. Then explain that when they read Lola Levine: Drama Queen, they’ll witness a drama queen who is speechless.

Read the Readers Theater.

Read Alikes:

Realistic fiction

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Realistic fiction; Ability diverse

Casanova, Mary. McKenna. Seattle fourth-grader McKenna Brooks, who lives for gymnastics, struggles with school work until Josie, a tutor confined to a wheelchair, helps her with reading comprehension and much more. (NoveList Plus)

Realistic fiction; Culturally diverse

Han, Jenny. Clara Lee and the apple pie dream. Korean American fourth-grader Clara Lee longs to be Little Miss Apple Pie, and when her luck seems suddenly to change for the better, she overcomes her fear of public speaking and enters the competition. (NoveList Plus)

Early chapter books; Realistic fiction

Barkley, Callie. All about Ellie. When she wins the lead role in a school play, second-grader Ellie neglects her friends in the Critter Club and their new animal shelter. (NoveList Plus)

Barrows, Annie. Ivy and Bean. When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected. (NoveList Plus)

Danziger, Paula. Forever Amber Brown. Amber’s life has changed dramatically: her parents are divorced, her father lives in France, her best friend has moved, and now her mother must decide whether to remarry. (NoveList Plus)

Friedman, Laurie B. Mallory on the move. After moving to a new town, eight-year-old Mallory keeps throwing stones in the “Wishing Pond” but things will not go back to the way they were before, and she remains torn between old and new best friends. (NoveList Plus)

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody. Third grader Judy Moody is in a first day of school bad mood until she gets an assignment to create a collage all about herself and begins creating her masterpiece, the Me collage. (NoveList Plus)

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the duck in the park. Lulu, who loves animals, brings an abandoned duck egg to school, even though her teacher has banned Lulu from bringing animals to school ever again. (NoveList Plus)

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the hedgehog in the rain. “When Lulu rescues a wild hedgehog in a storm, she knows she can’t keep it as a pet–it wants to roam free. So she and her cousin Mellie come up with the neighborhood Hedgehog Club to keep it safe”–Provided by publisher–. (NoveList Plus)

Peschke, M. (Marci). Drama queen. When her school schedules its class play, Alice in Wonderland, Kylie Jean wants to be the Queen of Hearts. (NoveList Plus)

Sheinmel, Courtney. Stella Batts: superstar. Stella gets a chance to audition for her favorite television show when she meets a casting director who thinks she is perfect for the role, so she rehearses her lines until she know the part by heart, but the audition does not go as planned. (NoveList Plus)

Early chapter books; Realistic fiction; Culturally diverse

May, Kyla. Mika: my new life. Japanese American Mika is the newest member of the Lotus Lane Girls, with her very own new diary, but she is still troubled by tensions between her different friends, and worried about her project for the school newspaper. (NoveList Plus)

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English, Karen. Nikki & Deja. When an arrogant new girl comes to school, third-graders and best friends Nikki and Deja decide to form a club that would exclude her but find the results not what they expected. (NoveList Plus)

Grimes, Nikki. Make way for Dyamonde Daniel. Spunky third-grader Dyamonde Daniel misses her old neighborhood, but when she befriends a boy named Free, another new student at school, she finally starts to feel at home. (NoveList Plus)

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First person narratives; Humorous stories; Realistic fiction

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Look, Lenore. Alvin Ho: allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and other tourist attractions. Fearful seven-year-old Alvin Ho goes on a trip to China with his family. (NoveList Plus)

First person narratives; Realistic fiction

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Adventure stories; Early chapter books

Voake, Steve. Daisy Dawson is on her way! One day when Daisy is late for school, an encounter with a butterfly leaves her suddenly able to communicate with animals, and when Boom, a stray dog, is caught by the pound, she enlists the help of a host of other animals to rescue him. (NoveList Plus)

Book Reviews:

Horn Book

Brown, Monica Lola Levine, Drama Queen
88 pp. Little 2016. ISBN 978-0-316-25843-2 Ebook ISBN 978-0-316-25839-5

(3) 1–3 Illustrated by Angela Dominguez. Jewish Latina American Lola (Lola Levine Is Not Mean!), seven, is excited for her class play until she freezes during tryouts and gets a (nonspeaking) role: Squirrel #2. During the performance, Lola must improvise with some help from her bubbe. Loud, spunky Lola will greatly appeal to readers who share her flair for the dramatic. Black-and-white illustrations, diary entries, and letters are sprinkled throughout. From the Fall 2016 issue of The Horn Book Guide.                                            Reprinted from The Horn Book Guide by permission of The Horn Book, Inc.,

School Library Journal

BROWN, Monica. Lola Levine: Drama Queen. illus. by Angela Dominguez. 112p. Little, Brown. 2016. Tr $15. ISBN 9780316258432; ebk. $5.99. ISBN 9780316258395.

Gr 2-5 –Effervescent seven-year-old Lola Levine tackles life with energy, bubbling-over enthusiasm, and her best friend, Josh, at her side. In this second book in the series, Lola and her classmates learn that they will attend drama class two days a week and perform in a play. Although she has been called dramatic, Lola isn’t quite sure what she thinks of acting. When she auditions for a part, she is struck by stage fright and has to settle for the nonspeaking role of Squirrel #2. Thankfully, her artistic parents and her visiting Bubbe are right there to cheer her on. Readers will find much to love in Lola and her nurturing family. Dominguez’s illustrations provide just the right touch to enhance the story. VERDICT This multicultural chapter book is a wonderful addition to public and school libraries. Highly recommended for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s “Clementine” series (Hyperion).–Laura Fields Eason, Parker Bennett Curry Elementary School, Bowling Green, KY.  Reprinted with permission from School Library Journal,  Copyright 2016.

Booklist (May 15, 2016 (Online))

Lola Levine: Drama Queen.   Brown, Monica (author). Illustrated by Angela Dominguez. Jan. 2016. 112p. Little, Brown, hardcover, $15 (9780316258432); Little, Brown, e-book, $5.99 (9780316258395). Grades 1-3. REVIEW. First published April 20, 2016 (Booklist Online).

Though she’s excited by the possibility of performing, second-grader Lola Levine’s stage fright earns her a nonspeaking part. Her flamboyant Florida grandmother (Bubbe) flies in to see her, anyhow. It’s a good thing, too, because when things start to go wrong, Bubbe dramatically rescues Lola from an embarrassing costume accident. Lola is an appealing biracial character, who is impulsive and energetic. Her dreams of stardom and the reality of her paralyzing nervousness will be familiar to many readers, as will the feeling of having a slightly annoying little brother. Episodic first-person chapters bring in Dolores Huerta’s campaign for farm workers, the folly of making fun of someone’s name, and the sad result of blowing too-big chewing gum bubbles. Gray-scale drawings support the text, except when brother Ben, described as pony-tailed like his father, is shown with a tightly curled mop. Readers who met first Lola in Lola Levine Is Not Mean (2015) will be pleased to see her in a new role. This sequel should win her new fans. — Kathleen Isaacs. Used with the permission of Booklist.