With the help of her beloved dog, a girl composes a story on a word-filled jaunt to the park.
Tulip and Rex each receive gifts from Grandma: a notebook for Tulip, a leash for the dog. Together they head to the park with their new possessions. Fun- and dance-loving Tulip, with Rex’s nudging, decides to make it a “word walk”; that is, she jots in her notebook words that describe her and Rex’s actions; objects or phenomena they notice; or words that describe them. The addition of the words “brave” and “kind,” prompted by Rex’s rescue of Tulip (and the notebook) from the park’s stream, inspires Tulip to devise an imaginative story (despite the title, Tulip tells, rather than writes), starring herself and Rex, using all the words she’s written. Garbed in dress-up items they selected before leaving home, dog and girl act out a royal drama in Massini’s lively, colorful digital illustrations, which are full of expressiveness, personality, and cheer. Readers may be disappointed that Tulip’s story never actually concludes, since, at a crucial moment in the telling, her parents call their daughter and pet to a picnic lunch, leaving the ending literally up in the air. They’ll be even more let down by the book’s flat ending but will hopefully be encouraged to go on word walks of their own and develop stories based on them.
This sweet story makes a good springboard for vocabulary-enrichment activities in and out of the classroom. (Picture book. 3-7)