Tag Archives: early readers

Life Lessons of Lucy Lu: Book 1 – Lucy Lu Gets Adopted by Gwen Kelly (Book Review)

“Mama, wait! You forgot me! Please don’t go Mama! Please don’t leave me here!” Lucy Lu cried out. “Why are you leaving me?”

OH, NO! Even though Lucy Lu was an adorable, happy puppy who loved to be with people, her Mama abandoned her at an animal shelter! After a cold and scary night outside at the shelter, Lucy Lu was welcomed in by the nice lady that worked there, and she met a new dog friend that taught her how to be a good dog and get adopted. But Lucy Lu was still very afraid that she would have to live in a kennel forever… and she wouldn’t find a family to love and play with!

And then one beautiful day, finally, a happy, kind woman named Gracie visited Lucy Lu at the shelter…

Life Lessons of Lucy Lu is a beautifully illustrated dog book for kids and a great gift for any dog lover. This empowering book also teaches children to be caring of abandoned animals.

“Oh, Lucy Lu,” Gracie said. “You are perfect. You are the one. I would love to adopt you and be your new Mama. Would you like that?”

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


According to The Zebra’s website, “Every year, 6.5 million dogs, cats, and other former pets are abandoned or lost and enter shelters. But of all these animals, only 3.2 million are adopted and many see shelters again after less than a year of finding a new home.” The number of euthanized pets is staggering and saddening, too. Lucy Lu is one of many dogs abandoned at a shelter. Readers never learn why the American pit bull and Staffordshire terrier mix was left tied to the shelter’s doorknob. We do get a glimpse into the mind of the sweet puppy. Lucy Lu was confused, wondering why her Mama drove off without her. She pleaded for her Mama to please come back. Lucy Lu’s cries made me cry. My heart broke for her. 

Beth, the human who operates the shelter, wonders what kind of person would abandon a dog, especially one that can’t be more than four months old. I wondered as well. Beth brought Lucy Lu inside, fed her, and gave her a warm place to sleep. There, Lucy met another shelter dog named Sally, a border terrier mix. Beth explains to the veteran canine guest that Lucy Lu might not be adopted immediately. Unfortunately, it’s common for black mixed-breed dogs to get “overlooked.” Therefore, Lucy Lu needs all the love and kindness they can offer. 

Sally was all too familiar with being overlooked by prospective adopters. Over the years, she taught Lucy Lu to be a “good girl.” She taught Lucy Lu the importance of good manners, such as not jumping on people or getting into the garbage. As Lucy Lu watched pups getting adopted over her, she questioned what was wrong with her. Why didn’t anyone want her? Children in foster care often wonder the same thing. They believe there’s something about themselves that makes them unwanted and unlovable. Again, just thinking anyone (with or without fur) thinks this is heartbreaking. 

Sally and Lucy Lu did get their forever homes, but not every shelter animal is so lucky. If you are ready for the huge responsibility of owning a pet, I recommend you visit your local shelter today. Let’s give our animals what they want—a forever home! 

Lucy Lu’s story touched my heart, and I know it’ll touch yours too. I agree with the author’s recommended reading age: ages 4 to 9. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

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Meet the Author

I am an award winning author who’s passionate about writing. I love to share stories. I’m always evolving to become the best fun version of myself. As I follow my path, I will continue to write stories, help shelter dogs find beautiful loving homes and aid individuals needing financial assistance to spay and neuter their pets.

My ultimate goal is to one day have a small farm called Sutherland’s Crossing Sanctuary for animals needing a place to be loved, to feel at peace and eventually die with dignity.

I have many stories still brewing in my head and will continue to write books in many genres – murder mystery, children’s book, historical true story, comedy book and whatever else formulates.

Please join me on my journey as I produce more books for you to enjoy and so together, we can continue to get lost in the world of words all while helping the animals!

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That’s Not a Hat! by Marti Fuerst (Book Review)


It’s time to run errands, but Daddy has lost his hat! He tries to find a new hat at each of the stores the family visits, but he can’t seem to get it right.

Predictable and repetitive text makes That’s Not a Hat! accessible and engaging for emerging readers. Simple and colorful illustrations reminiscent of mid-century modern children’s books are sure to make this a favorite.

Grade Reader: PreK – 3

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


We’ve all probably heard the saying, “A parent’s job is never done.” It’s true. Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, tending to animals, and chauffeuring kids to playdates and practices are just a drop in the bucket of activities that keep parents go…go…going. The dad in this adorable children’s book is having one heckuva busy day, running errand after errand. He does it all with a smile and a funny attitude. 

At the grocery store, he places a bundle of bananas on his head. He set the most unusual sea animal at the pet shop on his head. An octopus! I hope he didn’t feel the octopus’s beak! The trio visited the hardware store, garden center, bakery, and haberdasher. Each pitstop gives children a reason to smile. 

After the finale, the author highlighted a variety of hats. The collage includes familiar hat names like pirate, baseball, and wizard. I was impressed with the lesser-known hat titles; at least they were lesser known to me: sou’wester, slouch, and pork pie. There were twenty-eight hats in total. There would be plenty of more to list during discussion time. 

The delightful children’s book has simple, repetitive text. It would make an excellent book for young readers to practice skills on. For non-solo readers, the repetitive action will encourage their participation as well. 

I recommend That’s Not My Hat! to children two years through third grade. It blends new and familiar words. FYI: Haberdasher is one of the new words, but picture clues should help older kids decipher its meaning. The illustrations are fantastic! The story as a whole is outstanding!

Get your copy today! 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

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Meet the Author

Marti Fuerst is a former librarian and English/Language arts teacher, artist, technical writer, and author of That’s Not a Hat! Marti has been drawing since she could first hold a pencil. One of her earliest works (permanent marker on drywall) is still on display on the wall of her childhood home. She loves history, the mildly spooky, making art, and goofing around with her kids. She also has an interesting collection of hats. Marti lives with her family in New Hampshire.
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