When their Dad closes the bedroom door after wishing a good night, most kids would drop off to sleep, but not Lola. It’s the signal for her to put on her mask and cape and patrol Friendly Falls in case there are troublemakers about. Unfortunately for Lola, on the night we see what she gets up to, she returns home just in time to see her parents kidnapped!

This edition combines translations of two of Lola’s French adventures, written by Christine Beigel as if she’s grown up watching nothing but Hanna Barbera cartoons. She drops Lola and faithful pet dinosaur James into one silly situation after another, all at a positively frenetic pace. Just the first adventure supplies talking dog henchmen, a cloud creature, a flying teacup with saucer, a brief trip through the jungle, pirates… and that’s not the half of it. A fair amount of people she meets are co-opted into Lola’s Super Club, and the adventure continues.

It takes an attuned artist to bring out the full surreal experience, and Pierre Fouillet draws the stories in a deliberately wonky style. It’s intended to resemble the illustrations of a hyperactive child, so it’s flat and slightly distorted, but with a tremendous energy. Everything is busy, with characters rushing about so much it fair spins the head.

There’s a smart extra layer to Lola’s adventures, which are set up in the opening pages. In the title story the observant will notice all the people she meets are actually the toys scattered around her room. ‘My Mom is Lost in Time’ begins with Lola’s father claiming her mother has lost track of time again, after which Lola and the Super Club dive into the TV to begin foiling another of Max Imum’s nefarious plans. He’s after the secret agent James Blond, and as that’s her father (not really), she’s not going to let that happen. The second outing is another shaggy dog story with constantly changing locations as Lola and friends start in the dinosaur era and gradually work their way back to the present staying in assorted other locations for a few pages at a time.

Kids ought to love the fast-paced adventure, and the more imaginative will be prompted to come up with something similar involving their own toys. A second batch of manic fun awaits in My Substitute Teacher is a Witch.