3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
In Loulou Brown Loves to Read by Deborah Bernard, bibliophiles young and old will relate to the ginger-haired bookworm on a mission to find a peaceful place to read in a house full of several active siblings. Loulou can think of no better way to enjoy a rainy day--if only she could find a quiet spot. Follow Loulou's amusing quest to see how she shares her favorite activity with those she loves.
This delightful picture book features flawless editing and colorful illustrations by Mark Brayer. Young readers will be amused by Loulou's attempts to find the perfect place to curl up with a book as she encounters one sibling after another involved in various projects, such as building, baking, playing dress-up, and banging the drums. Loulou's humorous interactions with her siblings celebrate themes of kindness, individuality, relationships, and problem-solving.
I most like Bernard's creative depiction of Loulou as a problem-solving booklover and caring sibling. Loulou is an active bookworm; she shares her love of reading with her siblings by engaging them in their varying interests. For instance, her younger sister, Lilah, loves to play dress-up. Loulou gives Lilah the library book "Costumes for Kids" but also helps her organize her closet. Similar scenarios are portrayed with Loulou's other siblings as she gives them books she has selected specifically for them. All the while, Loulou exemplifies kindness to her siblings and problem-solving skills. She also applies her book smarts to fix a leaky faucet and conquer her fear of the spooky attic.
The only thing I dislike is the lack of transition when Loulou suddenly appears in the library. The library is certainly a reasonable destination considering Loulou's quest for a quiet place to read. However, the rest of the story takes place in Loulou's home, and there is no explanation given as to how she arrives at the library. The story jumps from an illustration of Loulou climbing stairs at home to one of her sitting on a beanbag chair and reading at the library. The accompanying text reads, "Then she remembered the one place in the world where it was always quiet, and she knew she could read in peace." Using the same text with an additional illustration between the two pages would provide a simple segue and add a climatic aspect to the story. It would also encourage question prompts for those reading to young children. For instance, the illustration might picture Loulou walking to the library or perhaps display a close-up of her facial expression as the idea occurs to her, prompting questions, such as "Where do you think Loulou is going?" or "Do you have a special place you like to read?". Given the rest of the storyline, the lack of transition seems abrupt and inconsistent.
Sadly, this type of inconsistency in a children's picture book prevents me from giving it a perfect score. Therefore, I rate Loulou Brown Loves to Read 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend the entertaining story to young readers under the age of 10; it is also a fun read-aloud story for parents, grandparents, and teachers.
Loulou Brown Loves to Read
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon