Monday, September 3, 2012
Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst Release Date: September 4, 2012 Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Genre: Middle Grade Fiction ISBN: 9781442435797
The stubbornly hilarious Lulu has decided it’s time to buckle down and earn some cash. How else can she save up enough money to buy the very special thing that she is ALWAYS and FOREVER going to want? After some failed attempts at lucrative gigs (baking cookies, spying, reading to old people), dog walking seems like a sensible choice. But Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia are not interested in making the job easy, and the infuriatingly helpful neighborhood goody-goody, Fleischman, has Lulu at the end of her rope. And with three wild dogs at the other end, Lulu’s patience is severely tested. Will she ever make a friend—or the money she needs?
In this standalone sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus, industry legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith once again prove that even the loudest, rudest, and most obstinate of girls can win us over.
Lulu Walks the Dogs is the sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus but stands alone just fine. I have not had the chance to read Lulu and the Brontosaurus though that did not stop me from picking up Lulu Walks the Dogs which is its own amusing story that readers of all ages can appreciate.
This is without a doubt, one of the most entertaining middle grade novels your child will read this year. Viorst provides laugh out loud humor, short chapters, and a firecracker character to keep us on our toes. But what makes this book so appreciated on all levels is that the emotions evoked here and situations Lulu gets herself into (i.e. meeting that one person who is just perfect in everything that they set out to do, shooting down your confidence just a bit), everyone can relate to.
Another one of my favorite aspects about the book is the rhythm of the story. It is really something special. There's a lot of repetition and rhyming, the comedic timing comes in at just the right beats, the book is fast paced, and there's even been a victory song created revolving around money. Don't act like you don't sing a little diddy when it's pay day in your neck of the woods. Let's not forget about the "time-outs." After seeing this, you'll wish other books included such time-outs. Finally, the illustrations match the tone of the story perfectly! I hope this is not the last work we see of Viorst and Smith teaming up because they sure do make a great team.
The things that Viorst has thought to include in this book... it reminds me why I fell in love with books at such a young age. Viorst is bold and fun and there's a lesson to learn here. A few in fact. Lulu doesn't appreciate a good thing (a helping hand) until she's forced in a situation where she has no other options but to accept help. This story is about hard work and dedication just as much as it is about humility and kindness. We could all be reminded of these lessons.
Before getting to the last page, I knew that I wanted to read more from Viorst and you will too. While Lulu Walks the Dogs is a quick read, if you want to really pass the time, read it aloud like I did! It will make the reading experience all the more entertaining. If there's one middle grade book you pick up this week, let it be Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst!
Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst illustrated by Lane Smith releases September 4, 2012.
Written by Melody Simpson at 11:27 AM