Lulu and the Duck

Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay

Lulu loves animals, so she can’t understand it when people don’t love every animal, like her teacher Mrs. Holiday.  In fact, Mrs. Holiday has asked Lulu to never bring an animal to school again after an incident with her dog.  When their class is heading back through the park after swimming, something awful happens.  Two dogs run rampage through the ducks’ nests in the park, scaring the ducks, ruining their nests and smashing eggs.  So when Lulu sees the duck egg rolling down the hill, she just does what comes naturally and puts it into her pocket.  Once back at school though, it is hard to figure out how to hide an egg without smashing it.  It becomes even harder when the duckling decides to hatch!

McKay is one of my favorite British authors, capturing the unique qualities of her characters with a distinct merriment.  In this short novel perfect for beginning readers, she changes the perspective up sometimes by offering Mrs. Holiday’s point of view too.  It is done with a lot of humor and children will easily make the transition between Lulu and her teacher. 

The writing is simple but great fun to read.  There are plenty of jokes and moments of seriousness too that both help keep the book moving forward.  It is a trick to offer depth of story in such a brief book, but McKay manages it.

I look forward to the next Lulu book and the trouble that she gets into there.  Appropriate for ages 7-9.

Reviewed from library copy.