ARC Review: Lou Lou and Pea and The Bicentennial Bonanza

img_2084Title: Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Author: Jill Diamond ; Pictures by Lesley Vamos
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary, Realistic
Pages: Print 251
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange  #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. 

This Middle-Grade contemporary novel provides a realistic view of two friends, Lou Lou and Pea. This book is the second book written by this author about these two friends who seem to have an eye for solving mysteries. Lou Lou and Pea are incredibly excited about their neighborhood hosting the two hundred year anniversary of the town. The Flyers have both their names showcased. Lou Lou is a horticulturist and will be showcasing her prized honeysuckles at the event. Pea is a designer and will be showcasing her hats from the hat shop where she is an apprentice. Unfortunately, Mayor Montoya’s dog becomes ill a few weeks before the ceremony, leaving the vice mayor in charge. Andy Argyle will stop at nothing to get to the Bicentennial Bonanza moved to Verde Valley from El Corazon. Andy and his daughter Amanda create a scheme together to get the event relocated. How far will these two go to get what they want? Will Lou Lou and Pea save the day with the help of a few friends?

Favorite Quotes:

” If conclusions were a pool, Lou Lou would be constantly wet.”

I laughed so hard after reading this because it is just too clever. This is an iconic moment in the story where the plot starts to unravel.

“‘Being kind is always in style,’ Pea replied with one of her fashion quotes. ‘Who said that?’ Lou Lou asked. ‘Peacock Pearl, of course.’ Pea winked one bright blue eye.”

This is an absolutely amazing lesson to teach young readers. Kindness is important regardless of the way others may treat you.

Final Thoughts:

I adored this novel and thought the author did a great job capturing the essence of Lou Lou and Pea. I also loved the author used a Spanish influence throughout the entire novel, providing text in a bilingual manner was very creative. I was able to learn a few words throughout the story. I enjoyed the instructions on how to make a hat and the Spanish-English dictionary at the end of the story. I loved the connection between friendship throughout this novel and the emphasis on kindness. The author spent time providing details of the characters that fueled my imagination throughout the entire book. I loved the portrayal of Lou Lou’s parents and their uniqueness. I thought it was a bit strange that her parents went with a nautical theme for their home, but it does happen. I would have liked a bit more explanation of Pea’s parents instead of the full focus on her grandmother. This novel is well written, and I recommend it to any in middle school who is interested in a little bit of mystery, friendship, and excitement.

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