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Cover image for Lulu walks the dogs
Lulu walks the dogs
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ©2012.
Physical Description:
144 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
Lulu needs help from a boy named Fleischman if she is to earn money walking her neighbors' dogs, and she finds out that if she wants her business venture to succeed, she has to be nice.
Reading Level:
Ages 6-10.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 5.1.

Reading Counts! 3.4.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.1 1.0 153630.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 7.3 4 Quiz: 57456.
Added Author:


Call Number
J Viorst, J.

On Order



Feisty Lulu sets out to earn some cash in this illustrated chapter book from children's book legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith.

The stubbornly hilarious Lulu has decided it's time to buckle down and earn some cash. How else can she save up enough money to buy the very special thing that she is ALWAYS and FOREVER going to want? After some failed attempts at lucrative gigs (baking cookies, spying, reading to old people), dog walking seems like a sensible choice. But Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia are not interested in making the job easy, and the infuriatingly helpful neighborhood goody-goody, Fleischman, has Lulu at the end of her rope. And with three wild dogs at the other end, Lulu's patience is severely tested. Will she ever make a friend--or the money she needs?
In this standalone sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus , industry legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith once again prove that even the loudest, rudest, and most obstinate of girls can win us over.

Author Notes

Judith Viorst was born in Newark, New Jersey on February 2, 1931. She graduated from Rutgers University (1952) and the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute (1981).

She has written extensively, her works include children's books, collections of poetry, lyrics to musicals, several works of fiction, and a cookbook. She has won a Silver Pencil award (for The Tenth Good Thing About Barney) and an Emmy (for poems used in an Anne Bancroft TV special).

(Bowker Author Biography) Judith Viorst is the bestselling author of "Forever Fifty," "How Did I Get to Be Forty," "Necessary Losses," & several other works. She is also the author of the classic children's book "Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." A graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, she is the recipient of various awards for her journalism & psychological writings. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, political writer Milton Viorst. They have three sons.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-In this sequel to Lulu and the Brontosaurus (S & S, 2010), the incorrigible Lulu, oft indulged by her parents, is desperate for ways to make money to pay for a mysterious something that they absolutely cannot afford. Rejecting their suggestions to do helpful chores for people as their annoyingly well-behaved neighbor Fleischman does, Lulu settles on dog walking and quickly gathers three customers. But she hasn't anticipated that walking Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia together is not the cinch she thought it would be, and she reluctantly accepts help from Fleischman. As these polar opposites devise strategies to bring the canines under control, they also take steps to overcome their mutual animosity, and a sort-of friendship develops. When Lulu's secret desire is revealed in a Q & A at story's end, it's clear they'll need to work together for a long time to come. The predictable plot takes a backseat to the hilarious narration with much editorial wisecracking and frequent asides directed to readers. The story moves along quickly, variations in page layout and typeface add interest, and Smith's stylized black-and-white drawings are a big part of the fun. A perfect choice for transitional readers.-Marie Orlando, fomerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Lulu still has a world-class case of self-absorption, but her arguing skills have matured a bit since Lulu and the Brontosaurus (rev. 11/10). Since tantrums are "baby stuff," her "sneakier, grown-upper ways of changing [her parents] minds" now includes wheedling. When this method fails to convince Mom and Dad to pay for -- well, something preposterous that isnt divulged until the end of the book, Lulu decides to earn money by walking dogs. Her ignorance here is total, but fortunately for her, prissy, way-too-perfect neighbor Fleischman insists on tagging along to provide catastrophe-averting advice. Partnership is eventually achieved, along with a modicum of courtesy and a glimmer of appreciation of their different natures (realistically, friendship remains elusive). This extended comic fable is rife with authorial intrusion: Viorst ensures that readers are having fun, getting the point, and noticing her fictional ploys ("In actual life this almost never could happen. In the stories I write, things like this happen a lot. Deal with it"). Fortunately, these asides really are funny. Smith is in fine form with his pencil illustrations, especially the caricatures of Lolas three canine charges -- "bigheaded, bad-breathed brute" Brutus, "teeny-tiny white fuzzball" Pookie, and elusive German-comprehending dachshund Cordelia -- and the owners they resemble. joanna rudge long (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The second hilarious episode to feature feisty Lulu (Lulu and the Brontosaurus, 2010), who almost always gets what she wants. This time, what Lulu wants is so outrageous that her mother and father tell her she is going to have to earn the money for it herself, so Lulu hatches a business plan to earn the money by walking dogs. It turns out, however, that Lulu is a dismal failure at dog walking. Enter Fleischman, Lulu's goody-goody, smarty-pants, neat-as-a-button, uber-helpful and incredibly annoying neighbor. He can certainly help Lulu with her dog-walking scheme. The question is whether spoiled, prideful Lulu can stand him long enough to let him. Smith's droll illustrations interspersed throughout the text add to the humor and developing conflict by playfully emphasizing the differences between Lulu and Fleischman and creatively dramatizing their most interesting moments. Unfortunately, Viorst's numerous authorial asides--in which the narrator insists on control of the storyline and stops for brief question-and-answer sessions with readers--come across as more confusing than clever because the voice and personality of the narrator are almost indistinguishable from Lulu's. Nonetheless, the short, funny chapters, over-the-top characters and engaging artwork will give this one plenty of appeal, especially to kids just venturing into chapter-book territory. (Fiction. 6-10)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Last seen demanding a dinosaur for a pet (Lulu and the Brontosaurus, 2010), my-way-or-the-highway Lulu is determined to raise the money she needs for a certain unnamed purchase. After her parents reject her logical pleading (example: they can save money by skipping the dentist!), she concocts a plan to raise cash as a dog walker. Oh, but there are problems. Each of her canine clients Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia have idiosynchrasies she can't master. Enter the one person who can help: annoying brainiac goody-goody Fleischman. Will the tortures never end?! The highlights here are Viorst's constant authorial intrusions as she skips entire topics and chapters ( I really don't feel like discussing that right now ), offers Time-out Q&As for readers' inevitable questions, and provides the occasional encouragement ( hang in there, please this sentence is long! ). The sarcastic, biting, self-aware tone never goes too far, and Lane's exaggerated pencil illustrations make readers feel every bit of Lulu's frustrations and joys. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Take Viorst (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, 1972), add Lane (It's a Book, 2010), and you've got a recipe for serious interest from anyone who knows their kid lit.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

Harvest APPLE Written and illustrated by Nikki McClure. 40 pp. Abrams Appleseed. $12.95. (Picture book; ages 3 to 6) McClure's homage to the old-fashioned apple lands like a spirited rebuke to packaged baggies of presliced fruit and G.M. apples that never rot. Her trademark block cutouts, pared down here to black, white and red delicious, travel backward from ripe fruit to planted seed, well timed for an autumn tale about seasons and renewal. The art is gorgeous, the text is one-word-per-page minimal and the "story" is sprinkled with welcome surprises. An apple swings from its tree; a girl hides an apple in her backpack on her way to school and forgets it on the ground at recess. Think a new tree will grow there? LITTLE SWEET POTATO By Amy Beth Bloom. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. 32 pp. Katherine Tegen Books. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 7) Poor sweet potato - all that vitamin C, and still lumped together with the stuff of French fries. Bloom, a National Book Award finalist for grown-ups, turns her pen to picture books and sweet potatoes in this heartfelt and heartwarming debut about a tuber who doesn't fit in. The carrots are disdainful. The eggplants, full of themselves. "You're a lumpy, bumpy, dumpy vegetable, and we're beautiful," the flowers sneer. Luckily, in this mean-kids parable, Little Sweet Potato finds a more accepting patch of flora to plant himself in. Probably organic, too. SEED BY SEED The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman. By Esmé Raji Codell. Illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins. 32 pp. Greenwillow Books/ HarperCollins Publishers. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Codell asks readers to seat themselves at a window, looking out over a highway-covered landscape and imagine a "quiet, tree-bough-tangled world, the world before the cement was poured and the lights turned on." Codell's lilting text and Perkins's sumptuous landscapes will have urban parents ready to up-and-to-the-country. But stick around for the man's frontier life story, told here inspiration style. This is Johnny Appleseed - pioneer, reader, vegetarian, spiritualist, businessman, friend of American Indians and tamer of wolves. He planted apple seeds, too. CREEPY CARROTS By Aaron Reynolds. Illustrated by Peter Brown. 40 pp. Simon & Schuster. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Zombies, bullies, root vegetables - they're all pretty scary to children. Especially when combined in an oversize carrot. Playing off a child's worst nightmare, Reynolds shows how carrots suddenly seem to lurk in every corner, tormenting a poor bunny. The stark and atmospheric illustrations by Brown ("Children Make Terrible Pets"), working exclusively in shades of gray save the garish orange of the vegetables in question, are simply splendid. But be warned: for the 5-year-old faint of heart, the story may sting too sharply. READY FOR PUMPKINS Written and illustrated by Kate Duke. 40 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 8) Duke ("Our Guinea Pig Is Not Enough") introduces Hercules, first-grade rodent, in a multilayered tale about time, the seasons and the long, impatient wait for a full-grown pumpkin to pick. Abandoning the formula for class-pet tales, Duke shows Hercules to have a life outside the classroom. When the teacher takes Herky to her country home for the summer, he discovers his horticultural side. Especially marvelous is what Herky's accomplishment shows children: animals and plants have lives and life cycles of their own. PAMELA PAUL Woof BAILEY AT THE MUSEUM Written and illustrated by Harry Bliss. 32 pp. Scholastic Press. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 3 to 6) First Bailey wanted to go to school ("Bailey"). Now he wants to leave the classroom for school trips. Who can blame him when the destination is the American Museum of Natural History, that staple setting for great children's literature? Bliss's student-filled scenes recall the adventures of Ms. Frizzle's crew, with Bailey asking all the good questions. Bliss, who draws cartoons for The New Yorker, throws in choice asides for grown-ups (on the lunch menu: Soy Stuff, marked "Almost Organic"). BOOT & SHOE Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. 40 pp. Beach Lane Books. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) A genius at capturing human expression and antics, Frazee ("The Seven Silly Eaters," "The Boss Baby," "Clementine") seems equally unrivaled at depicting canine behavior and emotion. Boot and Shoe are brothers who live peacefully in the same home, sharing food bowl and bed, but then each retreating to his own porch for rest and contemplation. One day, a scampering squirrel mixes things up; chaos ensues. Expertly drawn, full of humor and affection and beautifully arranged, "Boot & Shoe" is a jubilant romp from beginning to end. READY OR NOT, HERE COMES SCOUT! By Jill Abramson and Jane O'Connor. Illustrated by Deborah Melmon. 32 pp. Viking. $15.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) Small, cute, overeager and indiscriminately affectionate is an apt way to describe a certain alpha-strain of preschooler. Or a puppy. And really, what's the difference? Especially when the puppy, Scout, has her very own lovey too, and just wants to play and make friends. Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, and O'Connor, author of the phenomenally popular "Fancy Nancy" books, are sisters and co-authors of this picture book inspired by Abramson's Puppy Diaries blog and subsequent grown-up book. Billed as "A Puppy Diaries Book," Scout's friendly tale is clearly the first in a series. Note the cliffhanger: Will Taco ever warm to Scout's overtures? We need not ask the same of readers. LENORE FINDS A FRIEND A True Story From Bedlam Farm. By Jon Katz. 32 pp. Henry Holt & Company. $15.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) A follow-up to "Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm," Lenore's genial true tale, told through lively animal photography and sweet, descriptive text, works as a stand-alone. Lenore is the last of five working dogs on Katz's upstate New York farm, and none of the other dogs want to be friends with her. (A puppy portrait reveals the obvious: jealousy.) One day, Lenore approaches Brutus, "a grumpy ram," and gives him a big kiss on the nose. "Brutus had never been kissed before. He turned away." But not for long. This is a story about friendship, and eventually, Brutus cottons to Lenore's affections. Others soon do the same. LULU WALKS THE DOGS By Judith Viorst. Illustrated by Lane Smith. 145 pp. Atheneum. $15.99. (Middle grade; ages 6 to 10) Viorst's narrator-heroine, enjoying a fresh turn after "Lulu and the Brontosaurus," is full of 'tude and doesn't care if you don't like it. A child of entitlement, Lulu is nonetheless told she needs to earn money for her latest heart's desire. Dog walking teaches her a lesson. Lulu feels like a cousin of, and a step up the chapter book ladder in difficulty from, Junie B. Jones. Smith's sharp-eyed charcoals add kick. PAMELA PAUL ONLINE A slide show of this week's illustrated books at nytimes.com/books.