Lulu and the Duck in the Park
by Hilary McKay
Albert Whitman & Company, 2011. 104 pgs. Intermediate
Lulu loves animals so much that she even has a little rope ladder in her bathtub so trapped spiders can get out. But when Lulu brings her dog Sam to visit the class guinea pig and he causes a ruckus and a mess, Mrs. Holiday, Class Three's teacher, says that if any other animals ever come to visit the class guinea pig she will trade him for Class Two's stick insects. Eeek. No one wants that. So Lulu is very good until her class goes to the park where some mean dogs chase the ducks around and smash up their nests and eggs. Their special friend, the duck with one wing, gets chased away from her nest and may even have been killed. While Mrs. Holiday and the park workers are chasing the dogs away, Lulu and her best friend and cousin Mellie find something that they just have to take back to class--not exactly an animal visitor, but something that may mean stick insects for Class Three. Hilary McKay brings her world class writer's chops from middle-grade fiction to this new beginning chapter books series to splendid effect. Second and third graders should eat this one up, especially girls.