Seven-year old Lulu loves animals and she has lots of pets. Her mother says, “The more the merrier! As long as Lulu cleans up after them!” She has two guinea pigs, four rabbits, one parrot, one hamster, lots of goldfish and an old dog named Sam. Lulu’s best friend and cousin, Mellie, is going on vacation to the beach with Lulu and her family. At the beach house, the family is warned about a dog from the sea who is stealing food wherever he can find it. Right away Lulu wants to know more about the “dog from the sea” and sets out to find out. Lulu and then Mellie and eventually, even Lulu’s parents gain the dog’s trust. In the end, the dog from the sea comes to the rescue of Lulu and Mellie.
Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay is the second in a series of books about Lulu and her love for animals. I found out about the first book, Lulu and the Duck in the Park, from Anita Silvey’s Children's Book-A-Day Almanac. She had high praise for the first book but when I found a book about a dog, I had to go with that one. A third book, Lulu and the Cat in the Bag is going to be published on September 1, 2013. All the books are illustrated by Pricilla Lamont.
The Accelerated Reader rating is 4.7, but the book is short (108 pages) and the story is straight forward. These books would be great for kids who are reading above grade level at a young age or as read-a-loud books. There are plenty of issues to discuss about animal welfare.