Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lulu Series by Judith Viorst

I've vowed this summer to really get to know early chapter books.  I'm hoping to know them well enough to recommend them to the students I support in reading.  I know I need to know the characters, the story, the author's message, the supports and the challenges.  I know I'm hoping to find books that will help step these readers into other books.

One of the series I enjoyed this summer has been around for a bit, Lulu written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Lane Smith.  You've likely already read them yourself.  Though this series is a bit more challenging than most of my readers will be able to manage independently, I think it has a lot of potential for read aloud.  As a classroom teacher I see it as being perfect for read aloud at the end of second or beginning of third grade when readers could more easily understand the change in voice as the author breaks into the story to add her own two cents.  I'd also recommend it to parents looking for a longer read aloud to enjoy with their children each evening.  It seems reading the first one would set readers to read the second and third independently.

I just fell in love with spunky Lulu.  She's quite a difficult child and is used to getting her way.  She's not going to go out of her way to make things easier for anyone.  In all three books she struggles with wishes of other characters and has to learn to change her ways to get what she wants.  Lulu grows up a bit in each story.  I think young readers could identify with Lulu and the books would offer opportunities for some great discussion.  There are three books in this series:

Lulu and the Brontosaurus:  In this story, Lulu wants a pet of her own.  When her parents refuse to get her a brontosaurus for her birthday, she leaves home to find one herself.  Of course, she gets more than she bargained for in the brontosaurus she hopes to take home.  It seems he too thinks having a pet is a perfect idea --- and that Lulu would make just the right pet for him.  

Lulu Walks the Dogs:  Lulu needs a little extra spending money so she decides to walk dogs to make money.  Lulu, of course, is only concerned about making money and really doesn't care much about the pets themselves.  The dogs provide plenty of challenge as Lulu just hopes to check these jobs off her list and receive a little pay.  Fleischman, a boy all the neighbors love, tries to help Lulu, but she's not really interested in his advice.  Will Lulu ever learn?

Lulu Mysterious Mission:  Lulu is infuriated when her parents decide to take a trip without her.  To add insult to injury they plan to leave her with a babysitter.  Lulu pulls out all the stops and throws her usual temper tantrums to force her parents too come home.  However, Lulu has met her match in Ms. Sonia Sofia Solinsky who specializes in dealing with especially difficult children.  Is Ms. Solinsky all she appears to be?

These three books were such fun to read.  I hope I'll get to read more about Lulu soon!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Lulu and have actually only read the first one. It was a special book for one of my readers this past school year. She continually came to reading group with books that were too hard for her that she would read a few pages and then abandon. I gave her Lulu to read. It was the first book she read cover to cover and it sparked her thirst for more books that she could read and understand. One more reason to love Lulu. :)