The second hilarious episode to feature feisty Lulu (Lulu and the Brontosaurus, 2010), who almost always gets what she wants.
This time, what Lulu wants is so outrageous that her mother and father tell her she is going to have to earn the money for it herself, so Lulu hatches a business plan to earn the money by walking dogs. It turns out, however, that Lulu is a dismal failure at dog walking. Enter Fleischman, Lulu’s goody-goody, smarty-pants, neat-as-a-button, uber-helpful and incredibly annoying neighbor. He can certainly help Lulu with her dog-walking scheme. The question is whether spoiled, prideful Lulu can stand him long enough to let him. Smith’s droll illustrations interspersed throughout the text add to the humor and developing conflict by playfully emphasizing the differences between Lulu and Fleischman and creatively dramatizing their most interesting moments. Unfortunately, Viorst’s numerous authorial asides—in which the narrator insists on control of the storyline and stops for brief question-and-answer sessions with readers—come across as more confusing than clever because the voice and personality of the narrator are almost indistinguishable from Lulu’s.
Nonetheless, the short, funny chapters, over-the-top characters and engaging artwork will give this one plenty of appeal, especially to kids just venturing into chapter-book territory. (Fiction. 6-10)