Lulu Gets a Cat

2018 Picture Book Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Picture Book Shortlist.


Almost Anything    Sophy Henn

Puffin     ISBN: 978-0141385471

Read the long list review here.


Fairy Tale Pets    Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Jorge Martin

Little Tiger    ISBN: 978-1848694422

You can read the long list review here.


Goat's Coat   Tom Percival, illustrated by Christine Pym

Bloomsbury    ISBN: 978-1408881026

You can read the long list review here.


Look Out, It's A Dragon!       Jonny Lambert

Little Tiger    ISBN:  978-1848698215

You can read the long list review here.


Lulu Gets a Cat     Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Alanna Books    ISBN: 978-1907825163

You can read the long list review here.


Cyril and Pat     Emily Gravett

Two Hoots       ISBN: 978-1509857272

You can read the long list review here.

Congratulations to all! The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th November. 



Lulu really wants a pet cat, but this is a serious undertaking and she has to show she is ready and able to be a responsible pet owner. So she sets off to the library to gather some books and do her research before practising on one of her toys. At last. her mother agrees she is ready and they head for the animal shelter to choose the new member of their family.

However, the lively little kitten she selects cannot come home with them just yet and she and her mum have to go shopping and make preparations at home in readiness. At last the kitten can come home and she and Makeda (named for an African queen) are soon having fun together and sharing a story about another cat, Puss in Boots.

This is a delightful book which gives time and importance to the great responsibility of owning a pet. There is so much Lulu teaches us all through her careful preparations and she is sweet and patient with the new arrival, allowing the kitten to settle in how ever much she wants to play with it. The strong message of care and respect makes this an excellent story to share with EYFS and KS1 children as they can empathise with Lulu's desire for a kitten and learn from her arrangements.

Lulu's love of books and reading also come shining through. Visiting the library, sharing a story with her cat are seamlessly woven into the story, encouraging others to follow her example and turn to a book to find out about anything!

The illustrations are an absolute joy! Lulu's wonderful range of outfits for every occasion and sweet smile make the reader smile in return. There are plenty of clues to enjoy and discuss - hints that she is a cat lover, the things she is doing to practise having a cat (spilling the water!) and how she prepares, for example.

Endorsed by the Cats Protection League, this is a wonderful book to use both in school and at home. Delightful!

Lulu Gets a Cat     Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Alanna Books    ISBN: 978-1907825163

You can read another review of 'Lulu Gets a Cat' here.

Lulu Gets a Cat


One of our lovely JAB members has recently adopted a kitten. She's like a new mum, proudly showing photos of her little one- who is very sweet and very worth looking at! And that reminded me of this delightful book- 'Lulu Gets a Cat'. 

Lulu wants a pet cat, but mummy says they take a lot of looking after. So they head to the library to borrow books about how to do this and Lulu pretends her toy is a real cat to show that she can do it right. At last, Mummy agrees she can have one and they head off to the shelter to choose her pet.


This is a lovely story, showing that a new pet is a big responsibility and needs to be carefully prepared for. As well as showing Lulu and her mummy shopping for all the things a new cat needs, the book shows the importance of letting a new pet settle into a new home even though the reader can see how desperate Lulu is to play with it! Information from the Cats Protection League is included, offering support for anyone thinking of adopting.


The illustrations are wonderful, depicting a warm, loving family and a little girl who is obviously devoted Makeda, her new pet. Purr-fect reading!

Lulu Gets a Cat  by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Alanna Books    ISBN: 978-1907825163