In Lulu and the Duck in the Park, during a class trip the park Lulu discovers an egg that needs help hatching. Her teacher has told everyone no more animals in class, but Lulu can't leave the duckling egg alone!
In Lulu and the Dog From the Sea, Lulu and her family vacation to a cottage by the sea. They discover a stray dog who everyone in the town is trying to catch and Lulu believes she can be the one to tame him.
This series is charming and adorable and perfect for beginning readers. Each book is about 100 pages and is full of beautiful illustrations on almost every page. The writing is wonderful and never sounds too simple or talks down to the reader and I think new independent readers will feel like they are reading a very smart chapter book when they read this series. Lulu reminds me a bit of Clementine-getting into some silly adventures and she's very passionate. I think she'll easily earn her place among the spunky, plucky girl characters that fill beginning chapter book series.
What made the Lulu books stand out for me was Lulu and her cousin Mellie. They have a very sweet friendship and even though they are very different, they are the best of friends. I also adored Lulu's passion for animals. Each book is a new adventure with Lulu and a new animal and her love for animals shines through on the pages.
I also really appreciated the fact that this series features multiracial characters without it ever being an issue. This is much needed in children's lit, especially books for beginning readers.
I can't wait to give these to my young library readers who love The Puppy Place series and want books about animals-the Lulu books are sure to a be a hit!
I asked Ms. McKay to share her thoughts on libraries:
I was lucky with libraries growing up. There was one within walking distance, on the way to school. Looking back, having seen more beautiful libraries, it was a utilitarian affair: steel shelves, hard wooden seats, and a most unfriendly librarian. At the time this did not strike me at all; it had a delicious smell of polish and paper, books by the thousand and it was beautifully quiet. I think nowadays quietness is less fashionable in children’s libraries, but after the noise of four children in a very small house it was lovely to me. My sisters and I visited it very often. We were allowed four books each, so that was sixteen. They usually lasted us about three days. Our most popular authors, such as Joan Aiken, Arthur Ransome, L M Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Noel Streatfield caused many quarrels, and much clutching of the-book-to-be-read-next to indignant bony chests before it was seized by a predatory sister. We were all very bad sharers. One of my sisters used to read on her stomach, her entire pile shoved underneath her. I often went so far as to stow them under my sweater. Anyone would have thought there was a shortage of books, but there was not; there was a limitless supply. How lucky we were, how little we knew that we were so lucky, but if ever a library was appreciated, that one was, and I remember it now with love, steel shelves, hard seats, unfriendly librarian included.
Want to win a copy of Lulu? Leave a comment below with your favorite animal!
-Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company for the contest
-Open to ages 13+
-US and Canada address only
-Contest ends April 1st