Lulu and the Cat in the Bag

Bk. 3. illus. by Priscilla Lamont. 112p. (Lulu Series). Albert Whitman. 2013. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780807548042. LC 2013005439.
Gr 2–4—In this third book of the series, Lulu and her best friend/cousin Mellie are being cared for by their grandmother, who dislikes animals. Lulu discovers a tied-up sack on her doorstep containing a loudly snoring object. The girls are eager to open it, but Grandma Nan is afraid of adding to their overgrown menagerie of dogs, fish, parrot, and guinea pigs. One large and frightened orange cat emerges, and the adventure begins. Sadly, this story has none of the charm of Lulu and the Duck in the Park (2012) or Lulu and the Dog from the Sea (2013, both Albert Whitman). In this story, the only purpose the animals have is to react negatively to the unwelcome cat. Grandma Nan spends her time thinking of ways to get rid of Lulu's pets yet inexplicably takes the cat home. The mystery of the cat's appearance is never explained, but the reason for its size brings a satisfying and simple resolution. Fans of the previous books will miss the playful interactions between the characters and the animals. The black, gray, and white illustrations are bright and cheery, but the story doesn't match the quality of the first two books. For avid readers of the series only.—Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
Grandmother Nan is taking care of Lulu and her cousin Mellie, and they're all staying at Lulu's house so they can tend to her many rescued pets. When kindhearted Lulu finds a large cat on her doorstep, there's a problem: Nan is not a cat person. Gentle humor and deft characterization add up to another winning entry in this fine series.
Lulu's and cousin Mellie's parents are on a grownups-only holiday, so grandmother Nan is taking care of the girls. They're staying at Lulu's house, naturally, so they can tend to her many rescued pets. But kindhearted Lulu can always save another animal. Opportunity knocks when she finds a knotted-up bag on her front doorstep containing a large cat. Having already established her characters in the previous two books, here McKay develops new ones. Nan is particularly strong. She's patient with the girls, mindful of their manners, and a teeny bit vain. Charlie, the young neighborhood tagalong, is also spot on, especially in his inability to understand tone. When Lulu tries to convince Nan that cats aren't so bad, she prompts Charlie to back her up. "'Yes, Charlie has a cat. . .She doesn't bring in dead mice and things, does she, Charlie?' 'Not dead ones,' said Charlie cheerfully. 'Live ones, though!'" And that does it for Nan, who proclaims: "I am not a cat person. I am a garden person." In a plot twist that's a little precious, the cat (described in particularly visual language as "a glow-in-the-dark orange cat with eyes like lime-green sweets. Fur like a cloud. Paws like beanbags. A tail like a fat feather duster") gifts Nan with flowers. But the best present comes from McKay: another solid entry in this fine series. betty carter

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing