Worth the Candle
Nowadays light is easy to come by; as are new, flashy things to occupy our time. But in such an abundant world, some wonderful things can be overlooked. Each week, Hicklebee's wants to remind you of a terrific book that was published years ago, but that remains worth your effort to buy it or find it at the library.
Worth the Candle has toted up more than a hundred brief reviews, and there is still at shelf at Hicklebee’s where these titles congregate. This isn’t where you’ll find a copy of Goodnight Moon or Harry Potter. Those books enjoy our love, but they thrive without special attention. Instead, the shelf is a place to find lesser-known gems—books we’d like to wave a magic wand over and turn into perennial bestsellers. So that even a generation from now, they will still be enchanting readers.
Worth the Candle—whether you’re in the store or online—is a special place to browse.
Lulu is the animal-loving heroine of an early-reader series by British author Hilary McKay.
It has everything you want in books for this demographic--humor, heart, cute-but-not
too-cute illustrations (by Priscilla Lamont), and incidental diversity. What it doesn't have
is the promotional budget of the biggest publishers in the United States--and that's
perhaps why Lulu isn't as known as Junie B. Jones, Judy and Stink Moody, Clementine, or Alvin Ho. But that's the league she belongs in.
In each of six books, Lulu gets into gentle difficulty as she comes to the aid of an animal--a duck in the park, a dog at the beach, even a hedgehog in the rain. The stories are always rounded out by a cast that includes her optimistic family, her pal Mellie, and her seen-it-all teacher Mrs. Holiday. Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door (No. 4 in the series) gets our Worth the Candle nod because in a series rife with emotional intelligence, this episode stands out. Lulu notices that the new kid next door is unimpressed with his pet rabbit (in part because he's too-impressed with his Xbox). With a soft spot for the rabbit and an open mind about the boy, she finds a way to make sure neither is neglected. Nuanced and smart, the Lulu books are a great choice for early readers ready for a challenge or for parents who want a read-aloud that'll amuse themselves, too.