#128 – Tootsie and Lulu: Lulu Wears a Tutu by Wendy Botts

A to Z Challenge Day20: T
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 4 Stars

Tootsie is upset that the weather isn’t allowing her to play outside so she decides she wants to dance. What fun is dancing when you have to do it by yourself?  Tootsie takes you along on the adventure of asking her brothers, papa and mommy to dance.  When no one is able to dance with Tootsie, she comes up with a solution to her problem, she can dance with Lulu.  Tootsie gets her dog ready to dance and shows her just what to do.

Tootsie is a pre-schooler who becomes bored, but cannot go outside to play because the weather is bad.  Not knowing what to do, Tootsie turns to her faithful companion,

Lulu, and asks, Oh my! What should we do today? 

Lulu, looking out the window, looks as sad to stay indoors as Tootsie.  She looks up at Tootsie with hopeful eyes, but says not a word.  Tootsie must make this decision.

Tootsie decides it is a good day to dance and puts on her ballerina outfit.  She tries to get her brothers to play but they are busy, as are dad and mom.  The only thing left to do is practice ballet or dance alone.

Then Tootsie gets an idea . . . Lulu can dance with me! 

Lulu again says nothing, but her eyes look to say “Me?!” at this prospect of dancing, even with her best buddy Tootsie.

Before Lulu can run, a tutu is around her waist, and she is up on her back legs, holding paws to hands with Tootsie, dancing.  Lulu’s eyes look brighter and if a dog could smile, she would.  Tootsie finally has a dance partner and enjoys the afternoon.

Tootsie and Lulu: Lulu Wears a Tutu, is book one in a series of stories involving these two characters.  The author based this story on her daughter and the real Lulu, an English bulldog.  The story is fast, a mere 24 pages.  Tootsie speaks only six times, four of them asking, Will you dance with me?  One of the big rules of story-telling is show not tell, which is especially important in picture books, where the illustrations are of equal value to the story.  I think Tootsie speaking more, especially to Lulu, would have kick this story up a notch.  Kids like to repeat characters and sounds.

The illustrations are cute.  Tootsie has beautifully long, curly red hair.  The word “float” came to mind when I saw the little girl’s hair on her shoulder, looking so fluffy and soft.  Lulu is the typical bulldog, eyes looking gruff and sad at the same time.  She is a good friend, staying with Tootsie and playing whatever Tootsie wants to play.

Playing with little girls must be hard on dogs that would much rather chase a ball, slosh through a mud puddle, or simply roughhouse.  Lulu might have had those same thoughts when Tootsie put a tutu around her waist in preparation to dance.  I wish a picture of the two dancing together was available, you would see the smile on Lulu’s face.  It is priceless.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.   It can be had for the low price of $12.99 ($14.99 signed by author) at the author’s website.

Tootsie and Lulu: Lulu Wears a Tutu is a cute story that little girls will love to read and will read more than once.  The illustrations are colorful and tell the story, so even non-readers will know what is happening without someone reading the story lines.  Boys will not like the story, but that is okay because girls will eat it up.  A ballerina of any age would also like this story, making it a great gift.

The author offers an “autographed by the author” version of Tootsie and Lulu: Lulu Wears a Tutu at her website and an unusual offering–a birthday party with Tootsie, Lulu, several signed books, and a reading of the story by the author.  Only caveat, the party must happen within 75 miles of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Those who are, will have a unique Tootsie and Lulu  birthday.

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Tootsie And Lulu: Lulu Wears A Tutu

Author: Wendy Botts    website
Illustrator: Julie Weaver   website
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: December 2012
ISBN: 978-0-578-09641-4
Number of Pages: 24
Ages: 3 – 9

A to Z Challenge Day20: T