book review: lulu and the brontosaurus

Judith Viorst’s book Lulu and the Brontosaurus (illustrated by Lane Smith) is a short chapterbook that feels like a long picturebook, but with more narratorial digressions. I liked it.

Lulu is an obnoxious whiny kid who wants a brontosaurus for her birthday and when she doesn’t get one she goes off into the forest, being a jerk to all the dangerous animals she meets. When she finds the brontosaurus and tries to make it her pet, the brontosaurus makes her a pet. Then she escapes and is much nicer to all the terrible animals, but it doesn’t solve all her problems.

What I especially liked were the metafictional elements Viorst adds in, including an explanation that yes, these days it’s called an apatosaurus but this is her story and she’ll tell it the way she wants. There are also three different endings to the story. The narrator has an impact in the way the story is done and it feels very much like a told story, not a text (much like A Tale Dark and Grimm).

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