Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Absolutely Lucy: Thanks to Lucy by Ilene Cooper

I looked at some Lucy books a few years ago, but when I got a review copy of the sixth book in the series I was in the mood to zip through it.

Lucy is a friendly if excitable little beagle, still not much more than a puppy. Her owner, Bobby, is a typical, if shy, little boy with all the fears, worries, excitements, and enthusiasms of a regular kid. In the first book, Absolutely Lucy, Lucy helped Bobby break out of his shell and make new friends. Together they've gone through Lucy being lost, trying out for soccer, a dog show, and a little mystery at school. In this book, it's time for a new sibling.

Bobby's parents are planning to adopt a baby and Bobby is worried. What if he's not a good big brother? On top of that, Lucy seems to be sick and everyone is so busy getting ready for the new baby and preparing for Thanksgiving that nobody has time to listen to Bobby's concerns.

These are what I think of as fill-in series. They're not earth-shattering, particularly unique, or so well-written that they blow your mind, but they're perfect for what they do; keep kids reading and engaged as they build comprehension and reading skills to move to the next level. Each book has a simple "issue" but they're not overly didactic and Cooper has a good grasp of how real kids think, act and talk.

Verdict: I'm working on building our beginning chapter series and I know this is a popular one that a lot of kids in school are reading. This was a good reminder that I need to add the whole series! If you have really limited budget, I would go with Down Girl and Sit for your token dog beginning chapter series, but if you have a little extra moolah, definitely add this one.

ISBN: 9780375869983; Published 2013 by Stepping Stone/Random House; Review copy provided by publisher; Added books 1-5 to the library's order list.

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