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"A smaller percentage of 17 year olds saw adults reading in their homes in 1999 than in 1984."
Summary: Lulu loves animals. She collects animals. Lulu has never met an animal that wasn't meant to be a pet. After a pet mishap in Mrs. Holiday's class, Lulu isn't allowed to bring animals to school anymore. When she finds an abandoned duck egg on her way to school, she couldn't just leave it there. She'll just have to do her best to keep it safe. Luckily Mellie (her best friend) can help her. An egg isn't a pet, so nothing can go wrong! This is an illustrated chapter book for children ready to read longer stories.
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, transitional reader, illustrated chapter, short chapter, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 9
Reading Level: 4.2
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Lulu is one of those characters who means well but always seems to get into predicaments. She is sweet and very likable. I love that she's passionate, fun, and a thinker, too. The relationship with Mellie and her classmates also feels authentic. As much as I liked Lulu, Mellie, and her friends, the book didn't grab me. Mrs. Holiday was too much of a caricature (though she does come around); and I thought the pets at school and city park scenes were overdone. All that said, the book is not for me and I think kids will have plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
Pros: Animal lovers (boys and girls) will see themselves in Lulu. Kids will relate to the humorous classroom moments and keep turning pages to see how everything turns out.
Cons: None, really. The author might consider a "don't try this at home" note to readers. Kids may try to collect stray animals - or eggs - because Lulu did it and everything turned out all right.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Transitional readers will like the book, but its not likely one they'll come back to once they're done.
Educational Themes: This is mostly a book to encourage young readers to build their skills. There are several themes that you can talk about: pets and stray animals; following the rules; safety; and friendship. It could even be a start for more research (or videos) on what to do when you find a duck egg.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.