Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst is one of our recommended books for kids. Melissa Young from Sweet on Books explains why:
What You Need to Know:
• Judith Viorst does it again! Lulu and the Brontosaurus is terrific.
• Lane Smith’s hilarious and understated illustrations make it a masterpiece.
• Please see the note about the reading level below**.
Lulu is a little terror of a preschooler who wants a brontosaurus for her birthday. NOW. And Lulu’s parents are at a loss, what with Lulu’s screeching tantrums “till the lightbulbs burst,” they just don’t know what to do. But they put their collective foot down at the idea of a brontosaurus. Lulu storms off into the forest to get one herself and the adventure begins. While Lulu searches for her dinosaur, encountering all manner of dangers, her parents take a breather from their little hellion, because all that screeching can get tiring.
While Lulu’s parents are having a spot of tea, Lulu hilariously fights off a snake, a bear and a tiger in her quest for her pet. Don’t mess with a mini-dictator. Finally, Lulu locates her brontosaurus. And let the fun begin! Lulu’s brontosaurus is thrilled to meet Lulu; he has always wanted a little girl for a pet! With the tables turned, Lulu wakes up and realizes the error of her ways, hilariously.
Viorst truly triumphs again. I love the parents who forget about Lulu while she is gone, I love the imperiousness of the Brontosaurus, I love the way Viorst speaks to the reader directly in asides, and I LOVE the illustrations. This book has become a real favorite in our house.
** Note about the reading level: “Lulu and the Brontosaurus” is being called a first chapter book. But while it is in chapter form, it is not meant for an emerging reader to tackle on his/her own. (Not that they can’t try!) But know that there is sophisticated vocabulary and there are many nuances in this book that may turn into an unsuccessful independent reading experience for a new reader. And that can be damaging so just be careful when you hand it off. OR better yet, it is a fantastic read aloud. My five year old and I read it in one sitting. You can also savor it, and read it over a few nights, giving a young child practice in sitting for a continuous story.