Lulu and the Cat in the Bag
Hilary McKay, author
Priscilla Lamont, illustrator
Albert Whitman and Co., 2013

First, let me indulge in some self-promotion: I, yes, I–or rather “LiterariTea”am quoted along with the other professional reviews for Lulu and the Duck in the Park on the front pages of this latest Lulu book! (Our name also appears in the second book, Lulu and the Dog from the Sea.) Not only is it great fun to see our humble name in REAL print, but it’s especially nice when it’s for a series that has captured my heart.

So, let’s discuss this latest Lulu book. It hits store shelves this September, so get ready. (In the meantime, your library probably has Lulu and the Dog from the Sea as well as Lulu and the Duck in the Park so you can get caught up. These make GREAT reading choices for newly independent readers.)

As you can tell, Lulu is a favorite of mine! She’s a wonderful, childlike character who spends a lot of time with her cousin Mellie and–in this book–with her grandmother. As is typical of these charming books, there is a fun plot, great resolution, and great family dynamics (not to mention a quirky, flower-loving cat!). McKay is creative in her treatment of the animal characters in each book, and this one is no exception. 

Lulu and Mellie’s grandmother (Nan) is staying with them while their parents are away, and the book opens with the three of them pondering what’s in the large bag left on their doorstep. It is, of course, a big orange cat who happens to love flowers. As you may have guessed from the titles in this series, Lulu is a big animal lover and has lots of pets. Nan is NOT an animal lover. Lulu, of course, is delighted with a new animal; Nan is not.

Adventures ensue, secrets are kept and revealed, and all’s well that ends well. I won’t give away the ending, but all young cat lovers will enjoy it as well as anyone in the market for a terrific chapter book!

Recommended for kindergarten and up (reading level is 2nd-3rd grade)

Book in ARC form from publisher via netgalley; cover image from goodreads