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Ava and the Real Lucilleby Cari Best
Synopses & Reviews
When Ava and her sister Arlie see the "Write a Poem / Win a Pet" sign in Mr. Noah's pet shop window, Ava is sure the prize is going to be a dog and convinces Arlie to enter the contest with her. The girls write the best poem they can, and while waiting and hoping to win, they decide that "Lucille" would be the perfect name for a dog. But when Mr. Noah finally announces that they have won, Ava is so disappointed when she sees the prize, a parakeet, that she says, "You're not the real Lucille!" Ava must discover for herself that with a little patience, a little imagination, and a lot of love, her new pet will be every bit as much fun as a dog—and a fine friend besides.
"There's a new member in the club of disappointing pets that cajole their way into their reluctant owners' hearts: the parakeet Lucille. Her owner, Ava, is especially disheartened because she went to all the trouble of composing a special poem about the pet she really wanted — 'A dog, a dog/ A big brown dog' — to enter into a local pet shop's contest (the prize was never specified beyond 'Win a Pet'). But Lucille's winsome ways (like balancing on Ava's pencil while she does math homework), coupled with a minor health crisis (a seed gets stuck in Lucille's throat), bond her to Ava and even inspire a new poetic tribute: 'She runs and jumps/ And kisses, too/ She's ALMOST like a dog/ And not a dumb old bird.' Best (Easy as Pie) doesn't hurry her storytelling, but as readers get used to the novelistic pacing, they'll also develop a soft spot for Valentine's (Albertine's Got Talent!) potato-faced characters, whose dot eyes and stubby little noses become increasingly endearing as the pages go by. Ages 4 — 8. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
CARI BEST has written many award-winning picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; Are You Going to be Good?, a Parents Choice Award Winner; and most recently, Easy as Pie. Ms. Best lives in Weston, Connecticut.
MADELINE VALENTINE is the illustrator of Albertines Got Talent by Shena Power. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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