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Saying Goodbye to Lulu Paperback – September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Lulu, a black-and-white mutt, is adored by her freckle-faced owner, a girl whose parents gently guide her through the various stages of caring for an aging and then very sick dog. When the inevitable happens, memories of the past and hope for the future bring a bittersweet conclusion to this straightforward and affecting story. The emotions of the nameless narrator are clearly and simply shown. She describes how, when Lulu became blind and deaf, she "…fed her from my hand and held her water bowl so she could drink." The pictures, too, excel in tenderness without sentimentality. The realistic-looking cartoons, done with watercolor, colored pencil, and pen and ink, strongly convey the personalities of both girl and dog as they share good times and difficult moments. While this book does not break any new ground, it is accessible and appealing, and the death of a pet is a perennial childhood issue. Two similar titles, DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's A Dog Like Jack (Holiday, 1999) and Marjorie Blain Parker's Jasper's Day (Kids Can, 2002), feature boys as main characters, so a book about a girl facing the same situation is welcome.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. A girl cares tenderly for her old dog, Lulu, whose vision, hearing, and general health are declining. Though she wishes that they could play together as they used to, she knows that her dog will not get well. Lulu dies and is buried in the backyard, but it takes some months before the girl can say good-bye. As the story ends, she meets her new puppy and finds that her heart has room for Lulu and her new dog too. This first-person narrative relates events and expresses the girl's feelings in a matter-of-fact yet affecting way. When Lulu dies, the narrator is torn between longing and fear: "I wanted to say good-bye, but I was afraid too." Among the book's many strengths is the way Demas uses sensory details to bring the story to life: the child doesn't just miss Lulu--she misses the thump of her tail and the softness of her fur. Hoyt's expressive illustrations, ink-and-colored-pencil drawings washed with watercolors, reflect the tone of the text and show the child's sadness without sentimentality. In one particularly effective spread, the girl sits alone on her school bus, isolated in her stillness from the other children. A sensitive, hopeful portrayal. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031604749X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316047494
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Corinne Demas is the author of two collections of short stories, three novels, a memoir, a collection of poetry, two plays, and numerous books for children. She is Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College and a fiction editor of the Massachusetts Review. Before the year 2000, she published her books under the name Corinne Demas Bliss.

Corinne grew up in New York City, in Stuyvesant Town, the subject of her memoir, "Eleven Stories High: Growing Up in Stuyvesant Town 1948-1968". She attended Hunter College High School, graduated from Tufts University, and completed a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years, teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and at Chatham College.

She lives with her family in Western Massachusetts and spends the summer on Cape Cod. You will find more information at her website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Butterscotch on May 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a very moving book that tells the story of a young girl and her aging dog. As she reminiscences about her dog and how he used to be, an adult will get the sense of impending doom but children may not see the dog's death coming. The book is quite positive at the outset, describing how the dog is aging but used to enjoy games, running, jumping, etc. The death comes rather fast and yes, in a blunt way, but it's touching and makes me cry every time I start reading it. It's a wonderful book for children who have an older pet and those who have recently lost one; it tells the story of love between humans and animals, the joys they bring us, and the happiness that can be found with a new pet and new bond as well. It's realistic and you can't shield children from life. This book deals with a sad subject in an open manner and makes you feel something too. I'd highly recommend it because, in addition to poignant writing the illustrations are beautiful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This box of Kleenex book is about a young girl preparing to say goodbye to her beautiful dog LuLu. She, like the young boy in I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU describes how she and the dog grew up together and have been lifelong friends. She recounts how she and her beautiful dog played together, yet lately her dog no longer can see or hear or move around comfortably. LuLu becomes lethargic and spends a lot of her time sleeping.

LuLu eventually dies and the girl's mother tells her the sad news. The girl goes through the usual and expected grieving states of sadness and anger. Her father tells her that she can pick out another dog, but the girl insists that LuLu in her healthier days is the only dog she wants.

Like the boy in I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, the family buries LuLu in their back yard. To honor the dog's memory, they plant a cherry tree over her grave. It is then when that tree is in blossom that the girl can finally say goodbye and fully accept the death of her beloved dog. She even gets a new puppy.

This is a very moving and wonderful book that might even make you cry. It was especially poignant for me because as a child I had a terrier mix who looked a lot like LuLu and I was quite sad when she became old and infirm and died. She was a wonderful dog.

This is a book that will help ALL ages move through and recognize the grieving process. Excellent books like this and I'll Always Love You, Old Dog and the Christmas Wish,
...Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By HappyMomofThree on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book based on the previous reviews about 2 weeks before my forever-loved best furry friend passed. I could see his health declining and I could also see how it was affecting the kids (ages 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 at the time). I didn't know how stable I was going to be able to be to answer their questions in a way that they could understand when he did eventually pass. This book helped a lot with that. I couldn't get through it the first time reading it to them without tears, but that was ok. It allowed them to see that I was sad, too. Almost a year later, my kids still ask to read this book and continue to ask more questions about Lance and about death. We got a few other books too, but this one was the best understood by them and it also happened to be the closest story to what we were experiencing. I do still have a hard time reading it out loud, but I can at least get through it now without crying. You should definitely buy it if you have young children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. N. Olson on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book at our local library. I honestly just picked it off the shelf because "Lulu" looks a lot like our dog, and thought it would be a cute story about maybe losing a pet and finding it again. From the moment I began to read it, I realized what the story was really going to be about... And yes my 5 yr. old and I cried, and my 8 yr. old put on a brave face, but was very moved by the story. This brought up many questions concerning our own dogs life and when his possible death would be. It also has made my 5 yr. old more loving and gentle with our dog. It's a beautiful but very honest story. One that I imagine plays out in many households everyday.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this heart-felt book, a young girl must learn to deal with the impending death of her beloved dog, Lu Lu. Told in first-person style, the little girl and her loyal dog have been friends for many years. Lu Lu wags her tail when the girl comes home from school, and they spend hours playing together. However, the little girl has noticed that Lu Lu is unable to do many of the things she used to. She's getting old, and she's lost her sight and hearing.

The little girl seems to realize what's happening to her best friend. She has to carry Lu Lu outside and feed her food and water to her. Lu Lu has lost most of her energy, and she spends most of her time sleeping.

Finally, the sad day arrives, and the girl's mother tells the little girl that Lu Lu has died. The little girl is sad, but she's also upset and angry. Her father tells her that she may have another dog, but she only wants Lu Lu back the way she was when she was a puppy. The family buries Lu Lu in a box in the back yard. The following spring, they plant a cherry tree over Lu Lu's tiny gravesite. Only then can the little girl say goodbye. She even gets a new puppy to love.

This is a very touching book. My family has a terminally ill dog, and this book helps young children to understand the grieving process in losing a beloved pet. My children have known our dog their entire lives, and great books like this one help them understand that its ok to be sad, upset, and even angry when a pet dies. The most important thing that this book points out is that eventually, the anger, pain, and sadness will eventually go away, then the child can look back on their times with the pet with happiness.

I give this book my highest recommendation. Children and adults who have lost, or are going to lose a pet will find its story touching and moving, and the ideas contained inside will help with the grieving process; not just the process for children, but adults as well.
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