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Lulu #1

Lulu and the Brontosaurus

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An illustrated chapter book from industry legends Judith Viorst and Lane Smith! "I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna, get a bronto-bronto-bronto-bronto-saurus for a pet!"

Lulu is so accustomed to getting what she wants that when her parents deny her birthday request for a brontosaurus, she throws a four-day temper tantrum and then storms off into the forest in search of the dinosaur she clearly deserves. Lulu isn't particularly impressed with the snake, tiger, and bear she encounters, but then she finds him--a beautiful, long-necked, graceful brontosaurus. Mr. B completely agrees with Lulu that having a pet would be a wonderful thing, and Lulu thinks she's gotten her birthday wish at last. Until she realizes that Mr. Brontosaurus thinks that "she" would make an ideal pet for "him!"

How will Lulu ever get out of this sticky situation without throwing a fit (Mr. B does not respond well to those), or using force (Mr. B is much too tall to bonk on the head with her suitcase), or smushing her pickle sandwich? Beloved children's author Judith Viorst and Caldecott-winning illustrator Lane Smith offer a fresh and funny tale with several surprise endings!

128 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

Judith Viorst

85 books456 followers
Judith Viorst is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction for children as well as adults. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, her most famous children's book, was first published in 1972 and has since sold over two million copies. Ms. Viorst received a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, and she is also a graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute where she is a research affiliate. She began her career as a poet and has since completed six collections of poems for adults. Her first novel for adults, Murdering Mr. Monti, was published in 1994 and her most recent work of non-fiction, Imperfect Control, was published in January 1998 by Simon and Schuster. Her book Necessary Losses, published in 1986, appeared for almost two years on The New York Times best-seller list in hardcover and paperback. Ms. Viorst's children's books include The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, The Alphabet From Z to A, and the "Alexander" stories: Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday, Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move and, of course, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Ms. Viorst lectures widely on a variety of topics, ranging from the subjects of loss and control to children's literature. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband Milton, a political writer. They have three sons, Anthony, Nicholas and Alexander, and two perfect grandchildren, Miranda and Brandeis.

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5 stars
1,561 (36%)
4 stars
1,510 (35%)
3 stars
875 (20%)
2 stars
214 (5%)
1 star
102 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 650 reviews
Profile Image for K.M..
Author 2 books36 followers
March 13, 2011
I am jointly reviewing this book with my 11 year old daughter Isabelle. We got it both in hardcover form and on audio CD. The book itself was very attractive with black, off-white, and green illustrations. Some of them span two pages, allowing the reader a little break from the actual words as the images take over to forward the story. For some inexplicable reason, the pictures reminded me of the Beetlejuice movie with Michael Keaton (!). The drawings are soothing, not a distraction at all to the story but instead a seamless part of it. I also liked that Lulu's Mom was drawn as much taller than Dad in the picture…not something you see all the time.
I liked the way some of the print was in bold, and some was in italics, and the pages have lots of white space. There was some ornate script that was a little tough to decipher at times. For example, at the beginning of one chapter (the first Chapter 13, as it happens!) Izzy and I had some discussion about what the first letter was. She thought it was an “H” and I thought it was an “A” but after using context and both of our brains we figured out that it was actually the word “It”.
The author uses rhyming (“ She mainly wasn’t a pain“) and repetition to tell the story of Lulu and her quest for the brontosaurus that she wants but that her parents do not. The day before her birthday she leaves to hunt for one herself. Along the way, she meets a snake, a bear, a tiger. She eventually does in fact find a brontosaurus, who proceeds to teach her (among other things) some manners. There is a refrain that Lulu sings (like a Greek chorus of one) throughout the book that Izzy especially liked. It helped to have the audio book in this case because it gave a tune for the words that really brought it and Lulu to life.
Isabelle liked the way the chapters were titled: “Maybe the end” and “Chapter 13 again”. She also liked that the chapters weren’t too long. We both really enjoyed this book. Izzy's final evaluation was this: “I don’t think she (Judith Viorst) could have added any more or taken any more out.” Really, what better praise could you have than this?
Profile Image for Bailey Hauge.
20 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2014
Lulu was a bad girl and she wanted a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her parents hardly ever said no to her. But this time they did. And then Lulu said WHY!! My favorite part about the book was when the brontosaurus told Lulu that she should be HIS pet. This book had 3 different endings. You could choose your favorite ending. I liked the third ending best. I took this book to my teacher because I liked it so much. She is reading it to my whole class. This week we are learning about animal's needs and people's needs. This book is helping us to think about that. I liked it a lot.
Profile Image for Alex.
708 reviews
November 27, 2017
I enjoyed this book because I liked the part when Lulu didn't get a brontosaurus (at first, she wanted a brontosaurus for a pet). I did not like this book because I do not like forests. I also did not like this book because I do not like dinosaurs. When Lulu met the brontosaurus, the brontosaurus wanted Lulu to be his pet, but Lulu escaped.
Profile Image for Kate.
836 reviews31 followers
April 23, 2015
I have always liked Judith Viorst's pissy children characters. I think they are funny. Like pissy adults.
27 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2011
I thought this book was very funny and young readers would be able to read it and comprehend the text because it easy to relate to as well very funny! Once children surpass easy readers and picture books I think this would be a cute next step book to have in a classroom, it could also be used as a read aloud to introduce students to chapter book in early grades.

All LuLu wants for her birthday from her parents for her birthday is a pet Brontosaurus of course Lulu's parents tell her absolutely not. Lulu was not used to this because she usually would get anything she asked for, but not this time. Since Lulu did not know how to deal with this she began to whine, throw fits, and tantrums. She sets on an adventure to find a pet brontosaurus herself and the story follows her through out her adventure in the forest. I like the morals that this books shows in a fun way that you can not always get what you want and you must listen to your parents. Young readers would truly be enthralled with this story and the funny adventures that Lulu finds herself getting into.

The illustrations are also very funny and go well with the text. They are dark colored and not bright like many other children's books, but they still have a unique and cute cartoonish quality to them that children would enjoy. I really enjoyed the illustrations and think children would too.

This is definitely a book I would like to have in my classroom as a fun read aloud or independent reading book!
Profile Image for Megan.
56 reviews9 followers
July 23, 2015
adorable illustrations. perfect short little chapters for my about-to-enter-first-grade daughter, which gave her a sense of accomplishment AND gave me a natural jumping off point when I seriously just wanted her to go to bed already ("only one chapter tonight, sweetie"). the best part was the "choose your own ending"...the book ended with three chapter thirteens, which had my daughter giggling uncontollably. also: she carried this book everywhere for the duration of time we were reading it. she loved the little song that lulu sang about getting a brontosaurus and asked me to sing it over and over again. we borrowed this one from the library, but I think I will have to buy it for her. an easy five stars.
Profile Image for Linda.
458 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2017
I'm going to start including each of my kid's ratings for the books that we listen to together. The rating I give the book overall with be my personal rating.

me: 3.5 stars, rounded up
daughter (age 5): 4 stars
son (age 10): 2 stars

This was a fun read, but an audiobook meant for the younger crowd so my son was not too interested in it. My daughter loved it, though, and I had to keep stopping it so she could ask me questions (like how can something be "deader" than dead?). I thought the various endings was a fun touch, and the MC learned to use some manners now that she was a year older so there was a nice little lesson slipped in there.
Profile Image for ReadBecca.
800 reviews85 followers
January 5, 2019
Lulu is a bit of a brat. She demands a Brontosaurus for her birthday, when her parents refuse to comply she packs a bag and heads into the forest to find a brontosaurus for herself. There she encounters a number of dangerous animals, and finally a brontosaurus.

This has been on my TBR for years, I finally got to it and now there are several books out. It's quite on the early end of middle grade chapter books, with 1-2 page large text chapters and really beautiful illustrations throughout, it took maybe 10-15 minutes to read as an adult. It's simple and great for what it is, I absolutely adore the the underlying message here teaching kids empathy for animals.
Profile Image for Mrs. Fornero.
73 reviews
July 16, 2014
Once again I love how Judith Viorst interacts with the reader. It makes the book even more fun and relatable. Fiesty, sassy Lulu is on an imaginative quest to find a pet Brontosaurus since her parents dared to say no. Along the way she has some run - ins with other forest animals. When Lulu finally meets the Brontosaurus, she ends up learning that kindness and good manners go a lot further than tantrums and meanness. And you have to love a book that offers not one, not two, but three different endings. Something for everyone:)
Profile Image for Zaz.
1,545 reviews57 followers
March 31, 2017
This hybrid between a chapter book and a picture book was well done. The pages and chapters were short and the black and white illustrations were really pleasant. The story was easy to follow and a little compelling, with Lulu's adventures and her quest to find a brontosaurus (great quest, really!). However, I liked none of the characters and the story lacked a little something more. One thing I appreciated was the fact that there was a narrator-author talking to the reader and that she/he offered different endings to the story.
August 4, 2013
This was a cute & light book that I read to my boys, 6 & 8 yrs old, in two nights. I really enjoyed the writer's voice interrupting into the story. It was a comical & very engaging book. My 6 yr old doesn't usually sit through chapter books very well, but the banter (voice) of Lulu intrigued him and was captivated through the two night story read aloud. :) I plan on reading this book to my 4th graders during the first week of school.
Profile Image for Awake at Midnight.
73 reviews4 followers
March 18, 2016
Lulu is not a likeable character. She bonks bears and stomps tigers in a spoiled tantrum to get what she wants, a pet dinosaur. The dinosaur she finds turns out to be a jerk as well, until they realize that they really won't make each other practical pets. Then somehow Lulu is magically transformed into a nice girl who says "please," and the dinosaur becomes a great friend. But my daughter liked the book, even though she didn't care for the first half, because it had a brontosaurus.
7 reviews
August 24, 2014
8-23-14 Update - I just started reading this book to my new group of first graders. They were hooked after the first paragraph in chapter 1! They love the way the author pauses during the story to "speak to them." This is such a great book, and I'm really glad they are loving it as much as I do!

My class loved this book! It was really a really cute story with great pictures!
Profile Image for Alicia.
4 reviews
November 5, 2018
Lulu was a fun and engaging character, even if she was rude and obnoxious. By the end, you couldn't help but like her for the growth she showed throughout the story.
Profile Image for Michelle.
245 reviews15 followers
December 28, 2022
I didn't realize this author wrote Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and the illustrator created the Stinky cheese man book. The book size was cute and so were the illustrations. Lulu is a brat used to getting her way and things turn out differently by the end of this story. I loved this book.
Profile Image for Cameron Crane.
3 reviews2 followers
January 3, 2013

The Story: Lulu is a girl, in fact, she is the birthday girl. But more than that, Lulu is a pain. She screams and kicks and fights to get her way, and the worst part about it is that she usually does. But this year, when Lulu asks her parents for a pet Brontosaurus, things don’t go so well, and she is forced to take matters into her own hands. She sets out on an adventure to find her Brontosaurus, meeting all sorts of creatures along the way, and being-well- a pain. But when Lulu finally meets Mr. B the Brontosaurus, she is forced to face something she never imagined- the idea that she might not be able to scream and kick and fight her way through life. She may have to say “please”, she may have to compromise, and she may not always get what she wants.

The Rhythm: Judith Viorst’s writing is very amusing. Although this book is intended for children, she has a style and humor that adults (and especially writers) will love. Her sentences are short, rhythmic and casual. The reader is engaged throughout the entirety of Lulu’s journey.

The Artwork: Lane Smith’s charcoal illustrations mirror Viorst’s writing very well. They are fun, engaging and lively. Lulu’s personality is perfectly captured on each page.

The Layout: Lulu and the Brontosaurus is written as a chapter book, but reads similarly to a picture book. Almost every page is accompanied by an illustration, and bulk blocks of text are refreshingly broken up by dialogue and Lulu’s catchy theme song, “I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, gonna get/ A bronto-bronto-bronto Brontosaurus for a pet.”

The Message: The message in Lulu and the Brontosaurus is one about growing up and accepting responsibility for our actions, and the way we treat other people. It teaches us about being polite, and how to interact with our peers. It also teaches us a lesson that most of us have had to learn the hard way (as Lulu Does)- that we can’t always get what we want, but sometimes, it’s for the better.

Conclusion: Lulu and the Brontosaurus will make a great story to read as a family, and is sure to teach your little ones a lesson about manners in a way that they will enjoy. This book would also make a great gift for the “Lulus” in your life (because, lets be honest, we all know one). Buy Lulu and the Brontosaurus from Amazon, your local bookstore, or borrow it from your local library to share with the little pickles in your life.
Profile Image for Amy Vana.
19 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2017
Lulu and the Brontosaurus was written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Lane Smith. This humorous book has won many awards including the Junior Library Guild Selection, NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, Notable Children's Trade Book Language (AR), Children's Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year 2011, 2013 Beehive Children’s Award, and was a 2013 Monarch Nominee. I accessed this piece of fantasy through a local library.

The relatable character of Lulu is a spoiled girl, who wants a brontosaurus for her birthday. Viorst acknowledges that dinosaurs and people didn't live at the same time, but since this is her book she is going to do what she wants. When Lulu’s parents say no, she throws herself down on the floor, kicks her heels, waves her arms, and screeches. After that tantrum did not work she decides she will find the brontosaurus on her own. On her journey in the forest Lulu comes across three intimidating animals; a snake, a tiger, and a bear. All of which she has to fight off using her rude ways. While sleeping the brontosaurus finds Lulu. They agree that having a pet would be a great idea. Lulu soon realizes the brontosaurus wants her as a pet. On her journey Lulu learns the importance of manners. There are three alternate endings which leave all readers satisfied.

Smith's pencil on pastel paper opening illustration give a clear view of Lulu’s bratty and stubborn personality. She drew Lulu as an angry faced, huge-headed, bob-haired girl with her arms disobediently crossed. Her illustrations highlight the suspense and situations encountered along Lulu’s journey.

This book is a 4.8 accelerated reader and would be best for children ages 6 to 10. This early chapter book that is very well done and would be engaging to a range of children. This text could be used to discuss Lulu's behavior and how her choices and actions played while meeting each animal. A teacher could challenge children to predict their own endings and then compare their predictions with the several different ending is the book. This text is ideal for young readers as the text on each page would not be as overwhelming, there is some repetitive text, and the pictures highlight the feelings and emotions along the way.
Profile Image for Sweet on Books.
96 reviews5 followers
October 5, 2010
Lulu is a little terror of a preschooler who wants a brontosaurus for her birthday. NOW. And Lulu's parents are at a loss, what with Lulu's screeching tantrums "till the lightbulb's burst," they just don't know what to do. But they put their collective foot down at the idea of a brontosaurus. Lulu storms off into the forest to get one herself, and the adventure begins. While Lulu searches for her dinosaur, encountering all manner of dangers, her parents take a breather from their little hellion, because all that screeching can get tiring.

While Lulu's parents are having a spot of tea, Lulu hilariously fights off a snake, a bear and a tiger in her quest for her pet. Don't mess with a mini-dictator. Finally, Lulu locates her brontosaurus. And let the fun begin. Lulu's brontosaurus is thrilled to meet Lulu, he has always wanted a little girl for a pet! With the table's turned, Lulu wakes up and realizes the error of her ways, hilariously.

Viorst truly triumphs again. I love the parents who forget about Lulu while she is gone, I love the imperiousness of the Brontosaurus, I love the way Viorst speaks to the reader directly in asides, and I LOVE the illustrations. This book has become a real favorite in our house.

** Note about the reading level: "Lulu and the Brontosaurus" is being called a first chapter book. But while it is in chapter form, it is not meant for an emerging reader to tackle on his/her own. Not that they can't try! But know that there is sophisticated vocabulary and many nuances in this book that may turn into an unsuccessful independent reading experience for a new reader. And that can be damaging, so just be careful when you hand it off. OR better yet, it is a fantastic read aloud. My five year old and I read it in one sitting. You can also savor it, and read it over a few nights, giving a young child practice in sitting for a continuous story.
Profile Image for Nadine in NY Jones.
2,701 reviews208 followers
January 13, 2013
My 6 year old daughter happily devoured this book last night (after reading two other books yesterday! I need to find her longer books!!!), and she pronounced Lulu to be the very BEST. Lulu is a spoiled brat who wants what she wants and throws a tantrum til she gets it - my dislike of the spoiled only child stereotype ASIDE (*I* was an only child, thank you very much, and NOT a spoiled brat) - I have to love this quirky book, because my daughter loved it so much. This looks perfect for the reader who is more advanced, but yet still too young for longer books like Harry Potter. Similar reading level, but much more engaging than the more popular Cam Jansen (Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery et al) and Junie B Jones (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus et al) series.

There is one more Lulu book (Lulu Walks the Dog) and I already put it on hold at the library. I hope Viorst writes more!!
Profile Image for Supergrrls.
2 reviews
January 1, 2013
Lulu and the brontosaurus gives me the giggles,it has been giving me the giggles since I was 6 and now I am 10. Lulu is a spoiled girl and is a cry baby. One day before her birthday she decided that she wanted a brontosaurus,that was a big step for her parents to be asked that so the most responsible thing to do tell Lulu NO. Lulu really hated the word no,so to show how much she hated it she SCREECHED and SCREECHED and SCREECHED till all the light bulbs in the living room burst.Lulu screeched for days and days,but her parents kept saying no.Then one day she said that she would go out herself and get the brontosaurus and her parents let her go,well you see her parents thought that she would be gone for about 2 minutes but boy were they ever wrong Lulu realy went into the forest to find a brontosaurus.That`s all I can tell you,but you can read the book also and what happens.You`ll probably like the book as much as I do,will you?
Profile Image for Becky.
4,985 reviews92 followers
May 27, 2017
First sentence: There was once a girl named Lulu, and she was a pain. She wasn't a pain in the elbow. She wasn't a pain in the knee. She was a pain--a very big pain--in the butt.

Premise/plot: Will Lulu, the oh-so-selfish, oh-so-thoughtless, oh-so-spoiled child, learn her lesson in Judith Viorst's new book? She may when her wish, no, her DEMAND, backfires on her a bit. Lulu demands a brontosaurus for her birthday. When her parents refuse--consistently refuse--she decides to run away...and she runs right into TROUBLE.

My thoughts: I liked this one. It was amusing. It was enjoyable in an over-the-top, don't-take-it-too-seriously way. Lulu deserves what she almost gets. Perhaps there's a little Lulu in all of us that needs a reminder now and then that there's more than one perspective in the world.
Profile Image for David.
58 reviews1 follower
January 26, 2020
Lulu e o Brontossauro é um livro infantil com uma história muito interessante e original. É polvilhada com muita imaginação e, imaginem, tem três finais à nossa disposição. O meu preferido é o segundo. Mas isso fica ao critério do leitor(a). Li-o em voz alta à minha filha de 6 anos, durante três noites. Achou incrível esta relação de amizade entre uma criança e um dinossauro, mas acima de tudo compreendeu o fundamento da história bem mais profundo do que à primeira vista no é dado a perceber. Recomendo o livro pela história, assim como pelas ilustrações que vão dando o seu toque mágico durante a leitura.
Profile Image for Megan.
393 reviews7 followers
December 30, 2010
Most of my love for this book comes from the illustrations. I love them. So much. I actually would like prints for my (future) house. Please? Christmas present?

This is another kids' book that I think would be a great read-aloud. Particularly with a whole room full of kids. It's super cute on its own - but I'd like to see how a five-year-old reacts to it.
Profile Image for Julie.
184 reviews35 followers
November 27, 2015
This is a really adorable children's book. My neice, Bailey, brought it with her to my house this Thanksgiving, and she thought I might like it. I didn't just like it, I LOVED it!! Such a wonderful story for young readers, and 3 different endings...so adorable!! I think the best part is that Bailey wanted to share this treasure with me...she's an awesome kid!!! ❤
Profile Image for Haleigh DeRocher .
98 reviews157 followers
February 1, 2020
My son really enjoyed this one, which is why I'm giving it a four star rating. It was basically just a fluff read, not much to it. But entertaining and well written.
Profile Image for Kris.
2,855 reviews70 followers
March 12, 2021
This one cracked me up. Lulu is the worst. I love all the over-the-topness of the entire book, and it would be such a fun read-aloud for younger elementary kids. Lane Smith's illustrations enhance it nicely, and I adore the snarky tone of the entire thing.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 650 reviews

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