Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love by Patricia Martin

I remember the first time I read the story of the most famous spider in all of literature. The book was mailed to me by my great-aunt Margaret, who lived in New York and . . . was friends with E.B. White? I think? Maybe she just knew him. But still, very cool. He would have still been alive at that point, as it was probably a year or so before he died. I sat on our orange and green couch and learned about friendship from wise, kind Charlotte A. Cavatica.

If, after reading Charlotte’s Web, you find you have a hankering for another spider book, may I introduce Lulu Atlantis and the Quest for True Blue Love? Lulu’s best friend Harry just happens to be a top hat-wearing spider with a fair share of his own wit and wisdom. As Lulu comes to terms with her baby brother, discovers a frog prince, takes a trip to find the secret ingredient that will complete her brother’s oatmeal, and deals with a sassy cat named Princess Fancy, she continues to quest for the elusive True Blue Love that she craves. And, as you have probably guessed, Harry is just the spider to teach her about it in the end.

I thought that Lulu Atlantis was a charming book, but in a very different way than Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web is quietly charming, with its gentle humor and sweetness. Lulu Atlantis is whimsically charming, and because of that, it’s probably not for everyone. It gets pretty close to the line between sweet and cloying. At the same time, though, it’s wonderfully unapologetically imaginative. Lulu is a girl who embraces adventure, and you will either remember being Lulu or will remember knowing a girl like her. Reading this book felt like childhood summers, when the long lazy days seemed to stretch out forever. Even if Harry can’t replace Charlotte in my affections, I won’t soon forget the story of his true blue love for Lulu.

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