Hello, friends! Our book today is Lula And The Sea Monster by Alex Latimer, a nature-loving tale of friendship and courage.
Lula has lived all her life in her cozy home on the beach with her parents, but that’s all about to change. A big highway is being built, and despite protests, Lula and her family must leave. In her final days beachside, Lula wanders the shoreline and tidepools, soaking up her memories and love of her home. It’s during one of these walks that she finds a tiny creature, the tiniest she’s ever seen, attempting to escape a hungry seagull. After chasing off the seagull, moving her new little friend to a safer spot, and sharing a few snacks from her packed lunch, Lula names the tiny, pink squid-like fellow Bean, and promises to return to check on him tomorrow. And sure enough, Bean is there waiting for her the next day – but twice the size he was the day before! With each passing day (and each friendly meal Lula shares with her friend), Bean grows larger and larger, soon towering over the little girl, until the day he seems to simply disappear. That afternoon, as Lula’s parents are packing up their home and the bulldozers are bearing down on them, the young girl is suddenly fed up with this intrusion, and faces down the machines on behalf of the creatures of the shoreline… along with a rather LARGE surprise visitor who comes to support her protest.
Very cute. The story is a nice lesson in the importance of every tiny creature, and the equal importance of our kindness to them. It’s a message that can be taken both literally and figuratively, and results in a happy ending for all involved by the end (except, perhaps, the frightened bulldozer operators). The resolution is a little telegraphed, but counters this with a touch of wry humor and a great deal of heart; the bond between the adorable-at-any-size Bean and Lula is undeniably charming. The artwork is sweet, yet captures the tone of the oceanside setting and even the high stakes for Lula’s family very well through choices in color and shadow. The length is perfect, and JJ really enjoyed this one. A heartwarming environmentalist tale with a twist, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)