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Lilah and I really enjoy Lulu, a seven-year-old girl who loves animals. This early-chapter-book series features a different animal in each entry, with Lulu’s good intentions causing mayhem that’s resolved by the end. It’s a bighearted series, and though Lulu is naive, she means well, and she cares deeply about animals. Information about animal care is included in the books, and Lulu does her research so she can effectively care for each new kind of creature. The charming drawings by Priscilla Lamont are always sweet and often hilarious.

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In LULU AND THE HAMSTER IN THE NIGHT, Lulu rescues a neglected hamster from a “big girl” at her school, Emma Pond, who (like everyone) knows of Lulu’s animal rescue efforts and offers the hamster to Lulu. Since the alternative is Emma releasing the hamster into the wild, Lulu takes the hamster and immediately begins his transformation by improving his living conditions and conditioning him to accept kindness from humans. In the middle of this socialization process is Nan’s birthday. What Nan wants for her birthday is a slumber party with Lulu and her cousin Mellie. Nan doesn’t like hamsters. And she has three cats. But Lulu is reluctant to leave Ratty at home, so she sneaks him to Nan’s, disguised as a present. But Ratty escapes, leaving Mellie and Lulu to track him down before the cats do and without Nan finding out.

I enjoy reading Lulu stories out loud, and this was no exception. Lilah and I laughed quite a bit during this installment, which has the girls trying to find a way *inside* a wall, a suspicious neighbor calling the police, and trying to act casual around Nan despite their panic. The birthday party for Nan is lots of fun, with both the girls and Nan using their imaginations to create a memorable occasion. Lilah and I give this one all our thumbs up.

Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title courtesy of the publisher.

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LULU AND THE HEDGEHOG IN THE RAIN has Lulu rescuing a wild hedgehog swept down the gutter by a heavy rainfall. Mellie expects Lulu to keep the hedgehog as a pet, but Lulu explains that she’s a wild animal. She makes a shelter in her garden and puts out food, but one day, the hedgehog starts trying to dig into the neighboring garden. The problem is that Charlie, who lives next door, never remembers to shut the garden gate, so Lulu is worried that the hedgehog will come to harm. And what if the hedgehog wanders into the garden beyond? She recruits several neighbors to join her Hedgehog Club, and they divvy up tasks to keep the hedgehog safe but still wild. When everyone else eventually loses interest, all the work falls to Lulu, but she perseveres.

Lulu is passionate about helping animals. She volunteers to take on extra chores to enlist her neighbors’ cooperation to protect the hedgehog, she reads up on hedgehogs in a book from the library and uses this knowledge to discourage the New Old Lady from putting out bread and milk, which make hedgehogs sick, and she doesn’t attempt to keep the hedgehog confined, no matter how much she worries. Lilah and I both enjoyed this book.

Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title courtesy of the publisher.

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