Lulu and the Dog from the Sea
Written by Hilary McKay
Illustrated by Priscilla Lamont
Cousins Lulu and Mellie return for book number two in this delightful and entertaining series. Like the first book in the series, Lulu and the Duck in the Park, this is destined to appear on many reading lists and receive many awards. The publisher’s website has a Common Core Teacher’s Guide for the series, providing many reading activities (http://www.albertwhitman.com/).
Lulu’s family is going on a week-long beach vacation, and Mellie is going along. The house they rent is comically inadequate, complete with a potholed road and only three glasses in the kitchen. The locals have been fighting a battle with a stray dog which seemingly came from the sea. Lulu gets the full story about the dog’s mother and sisters and how they were eventually captured by the dogcatcher. Predictably, Lulu ignores all the warnings and befriends the dog from the sea. He remains wary of other humans, but that doesn’t stop him from saving the day. The author uses gentle humor and a little self-deprecation to show how things can sometimes go awry. Delightful illustrations show much of the action and are wonderful additions.
Second grade readers will learn, in a fun way, about many issues facing young vacationers. They will learn that rocks on the beach belong to everyone and should not be appropriated by individuals. Trash must be protected from critters, even if humans don’t think the critters are clever enough to access the cans. Craft projects, such as kite building, often require some instruction. Even thieving dogs require attention and water.
A thoroughly enjoyable early reader.