cover image Lulu and the Duck in the Park

Lulu and the Duck in the Park

Hilary McKay, illus. by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman, $13.99 (104p) ISBN 978-0-8075-4808-0

“Lulu was famous for animals,” opens this sparkling series launch, first published in the U.K., about Lulu, an irrepressible girl with a penchant for acquiring pets. And, McKay explains in her characteristically understated and cheerful narrative, “it was very lucky for Lulu that her mother was famous for saying, ‘The more, the merrier.’ ” Lulu’s adventures begin when her dog follows her to school (thanks to the trail of treats she drops en route), agitating the class guinea pig and further irritating her gruff teacher. The crux of the novel is Lulu’s rescue of a duck egg she finds after dogs storm the park during a class outing. She sneaks the egg into school and, in one of many droll and endearing scenes, quacks to the egg so “it doesn’t get lonely.” Though aimed at a younger audience than McKay’s Exiles novels and series about the Casson family, this offering has similarly abundant humor and heart. Lamont’s (Animal Rescue Team) robust cartoon spot art offers lively, loose portraits of the story’s human and animal characters alike. Ages 7–9. (Sept.)