Want it by Monday, October 22?
Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
Same Day shipping in Manhattan. See Details
The second book in this young, illustrated middle-grade series by Jill Diamond, about two best friends who must uncover historical secrets and save their city's festival
BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?
Fun back matter includes a DIY garden party hat and a Spanish language glossary!
"Fans of Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery will welcome this second adventure, but readers new to the series will not be at a disadvantage." Booklist
About the Author
Jill Diamond has loved children's literature for as long as she can remember, thanks to her school-librarian mother and long, cold winters in Maine. She presently lives in San Francisco, where, when she's not writing, she practices law and hangs out with her husband and their son. jilldiamondbooks.com
Lesley Vamos studied at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, where she earned a BA with distinction in digital media. She loves telling stories, cooking, traveling, and eating eggplant. She resides in Sydney, Australia. stripeddesigns.com
Read an Excerpt
It was 3:37 p.m. and Lou Lou Bombay was where she belonged — sitting in the sunshine in her backyard garden. She wriggled her toes in the grass and smiled at a honeysuckle bush nestled between the fence and her tulips. Lou Lou glanced at a red envelope resting on the lawn next to her, and then gazed up at the clouds. One looked like a saguaro cactus, another was a wispy fern, and a third, a misshapen forget-me-not.
Lou Lou heard a knock on the backyard gate and ran to answer it.
"Greetings, Miss Lou Lou Bombay," said the small brown-haired girl wearing a crisp school uniform. Lou Lou shielded her eyes from the sun and grinned at her best friend.
"Yay! You're finally here, Pea!" Lou Lou caught herself. "I mean, I'm so delighted you could join me for a PSPP picnic, Miss Peacock Pearl!" Lou Lou used the extra-polite tone reserved for Friday PSPP, or Post-School-Pre-Parents, a magical time when school was over for the week but Lou Lou's parents had yet to come home from work.
"I am similarly tickled, Miss Lou Lou Bombay," Pea replied.
"Would you care for PSPP tea and scones?" Lou Lou walked over to a picnic basket resting on the grass and plopped down beside it.
"Certainly, my dear," said Pea. She took a blue-and-white-checkered blanket from her schoolbag and spread it out next to Lou Lou. Pea wasn't fond of sitting on the ground, as it meant the possibility of getting dirty. As a horticulturist, Lou Lou didn't mind one bit.
While Pea got settled, Lou Lou poured tea from a thermos into mismatched teacups and opened a tin of freshly baked currant scones. She handed Pea the blue cup, of course, all the while eyeing the envelope. It was sealed with a fancy gold sticker embossed with two fancy Bs. Lou Lou already knew what was inside and was dying to open it. But she tried her best to keep to the PSPP tradition of polite conversation, which was not easy for her.
"How was your day at school, Miss Pearl?"
Pea smiled at Lou Lou's proper PSPP question.
"It was lovely, gracias," Pea replied. She daintily took a scone from the tin. Pea handed the tin to Lou Lou, who rooted around among the remaining scones until she found the one with the most currants. "We went on a field trip to Campo Bonito to do some painting outside of the city," Pea added, and Lou Lou nodded with a mouth full of scone.
"I trust school was pleasant for you," Pea said, and sipped her tea. Before Lou Lou could respond with a Quite pleasant indeed, thank you, Pea noticed the envelope and said, "Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes, it was in my mailbox when I got home!" Lou Lou replied, forgetting in her excitement that her mouth was still full.
Pea was excited, too, so she didn't seem to mind. "Let's open it!" she said.
Lou Lou exhaled deeply. She was grateful that Pea had abandoned the formalities of PSPP. "Oh, yay! I was going to burst if I had to wait one second longer!" She put down her cup, tore through the envelope's seal, and pulled out the paper inside. Pea clenched the handle of her own cup in anticipation. Lou Lou unfolded the paper and Pea peered over Lou Lou's shoulder to read the gold writing.
Lou Lou put down the program and clapped her hands. A slosh of her tea spilled onto the blanket, but Pea pretended not to notice. "It's so exciting to see our names in print. It's like we're famous, Pea!"
"¡Sí!" Pea replied. "Especially since they sent the programs to everyone in the city!"
"I can't wait for the Bonanza," said Lou Lou. "It's going to be so much fun, and we're going to be even famouser once everyone sees my beautiful honeysuckle and your amazing hats!" Lou Lou knew that famouser wasn't a real word, but it fit, so she used it anyway.
Pea's bright blue eyes sparkled. "Can you believe it's in just a few weeks?"
"I guess that brings us to the next question. Hats or honeysuckle?" Lou Lou and Pea's usual PSPP dilemma was: candles or cupcakes? Should they head to Cupcake Cabana or pay Rosa the Candle Lady a visit? But with their city's two hundredth birthday celebration fast approaching, they had to choose between visiting Lou Lou's celebratory honeysuckle in the park and going to Marvelous Millinery, the hat shop where Pea was an apprentice hatter.
"Hats, if that's all right with you," said Pea.
"Hats it is!" replied Lou Lou. She sloshed out another glug of tea from her cup, this time onto her pants. "I'm excited to see your newest creations. Besides, I'm on watering duty tomorrow, so we can visit the honeysuckle then."
"¡Bueno!" Pea ate the last bite of her scone and brushed nonexistent crumbs off her blue dress. "We can drop in on Rosa at the candle shop on the way home," she said once she'd swallowed.
It was settled. Lou Lou and Pea cleaned up the PSPP picnic, bringing everything inside the SS Lucky Alley, Lou Lou's nautical-themed house. Lou Lou used an anchor-shaped magnet to hang the Bonanza program on the fridge, then turned the ship's wheel that opened the fridge door to put away the butter. Pea washed and dried the dishes with dish towels embroidered with the words SS Lucky Alley Galley. Lou Lou called her parents to check in before she and Pea headed out into the spring afternoon.CHAPTER 2
Lou Lou and Pea didn't have far to go to Marvelous Millinery. The hat shop was just a few blocks from Lou Lou's house. It was near Sparkle 'N Clean, their local boutique and laundry, and La Fortuna Candle Emporium, known simply as "the candle shop." The friends took their time on the way, enjoying the sights and smells of their neighborhood.
"Mmm, fresh tortillas," Lou Lou said as they passed the Castillos' house and got a whiff of dinner preparations.
"Look, Lou Lou! They're working on the Bonanza mural!" Pea pointed at people with brushes and cans of paint, hard at work transforming a bus station wall into art. At one end of the mural, the artists were almost finished painting the city's founders, Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. Diego was an explorer from Puerta Madreselva in Mexico, a village named for its abundance of honeysuckle. He was the inspiration for the Bonanza honeysuckle and also Pea's great-great-great-great-uncle. Giles came from Barnaby-on-Pudding in England, a famous millinery town. To honor Giles, it was Bonanza tradition to make and wear hats like the ones Pea was working on now.
"I can't wait to see your hats and my honeysuckle in the mural!" Lou Lou said. After they completed the historical side, the mural artists would paint their vision of the upcoming Bonanza celebration on the other side.
One of the artists saw Lou Lou and Pea and waved.
"¡Hola, Sarah!" the girls called to the owner of the local community crafts studio as they hurried along to the hat shop.
When Lou Lou and Pea arrived at Marvelous Millinery, the milliner, Mr. Vila, was busy placing different hats on a mannequin's head in rapid succession.
"No, no. Maybe brown, brown. Yes, yes," Mr. Vila said to the mannequin. The milliner had a habit of repeating one-syllable words. It sounded a bit odd, but he wasn't mad like some hatters, just marvelous.
The mannequin's face was stuck in a permanent plastic smile, so Lou Lou couldn't help thinking he'd be happy no matter what hat he wore. But Mr. Vila finally settled on a purple cap.
"Hola, Mr. Vila," Pea said. The milliner, engrossed in his hats as usual, jumped at the sound of Pea's voice. He turned to look at her and raised his black, bushy eyebrows. Mr. Vila was tall, with a shiny bald head. He'd once told Lou Lou and Pea that he thought hair was overrated because there were so many beautiful hats to wear.
"Greetings, Peacock," said Mr. Vila, using Pea's full name. Only Pea's parents and Lou Lou were permitted to shorten Peacock to Pea. "Hello, Lou Lou," Mr. Vila added. Lou Lou knew that Mr. Vila loved to say her name since it was already a one-syllable word repeated. Unlike Pea, Lou Lou insisted that no one call her by her full name, Louise.
"Hi, Mr. Vila," said Lou Lou. She remembered it was still PSPP, so she asked politely, "How are you today?"
"Very well well, thank you," replied the milliner. "Particularly now that I'm finished with this bowler." Mr. Vila held up a tweed hat with a rounded top.
"Looks lovely! I brought some finishing touches for my swinger hat." Pea showed Mr. Vila two ribbon rosettes.
Mr. Vila nodded. "I must say, Lou Lou, your friend is quite talented at making hats hats. I am lucky to have such a hardworking apprentice to help me prepare for the Bicentennial Bonanza." The milliner absentmindedly plucked the purple cap from the mannequin's head and put it on his own.
"You're too kind, Mr. Vila," Pea said modestly.
"And how is your honeysuckle going, Lou Lou? Or should I say 'growing'?" Mr. Vila chuckled at his own joke.
"Positively perfectly!" Lou Lou replied, not bothering with modesty. "We've planted different varieties from around the world along one side of Limonero Park. It's been a lot of work growing the honeysuckle from seed in the greenhouse, moving the plants to the park, and all of the regular pruning and watering, but it's going to look muy bonita, if I do say so myself!" Lou Lou glanced at Pea out of the corner of her eye to check her Spanish. Pea's heritage was half Mexican and she was fluent in Spanish, unlike Lou Lou, who was still learning. Pea smiled and nodded.
"Fantastic!" Mr. Vila clapped his hands. "This is sure to be the best best Bonanza ever!"
"What were past Bonanzas like, Mr. Vila?" Pea asked. The birthday Bonanza celebration for Lou Lou and Pea's city was a special event that happened every ten years. Lou Lou and Pea had been babies during the last Bonanza and didn't remember anything about it.
"Quite nice nice, but nothing like this year, I imagine. It's the Bicentennial Bonanza, after all. And a two hundredth birthday only happens once in two hundred years!"
"Plus, we're hosting!" Lou Lou added. The different neighborhoods in the city took turns hosting the Bonanza. Lou Lou and Pea's neighborhood, El Corazón, was lucky that its turn fell on the city's two hundredth birthday. "That makes it extra special."
"Very true true!" replied Mr. Vila. He touched his head and discovered the mannequin's cap. "Oh dear! I'd forgotten that I'd taken this from you." Mr. Vila returned the cap to the mannequin's head. "I'm sorry, good good fellow. How embarrassing for me."
"It's okay, Mr. Vila. As the designer Yves Saint Laurent said, 'Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?'" Pea had a new book of fashion quotes, and she was excited to use them.
"Yeah, and as Fanny Flower said, 'Worms can do wonders for the soil.'" Lou Lou wanted to contribute her own horticulture quotes, but they were more difficult to find than fashion quotes, so she'd started making them up. However, her quotes often didn't quite fit the situation.
Pea and Mr. Vila both blinked at Lou Lou, but Pea quickly broke the awkward silence. "I'd better get to work!" She and Lou Lou went into the little workshop behind Marvelous Millinery's showroom. Pea retrieved her hat-in-progress and placed it on the workshop's wooden table while Lou Lou looked around. She'd been there many times before, but each time there were more hats stacked from floor to ceiling on shelves and in various cabinets. Even though the room was nearly overflowing with hats — each one a unique creation — Pea had them immaculately organized by color, size, and style. Lou Lou moved to admire the red section, bumping into a shelf on the way and nearly causing a yellow-hat avalanche.
"What do you think, Lou Lou? Should I add one ribbon rosette or two?" Pea asked, holding up the felted hat.
"Two," Lou Lou replied. "You can never have too many ribbon rosettes."
"I agree." Pea examined the hat with keen eyes and chose the best spot for the silk flowers, right above the brim on the left. She picked up her needle and thread and attached the flowers with a few stitches. Lou Lou clapped her hands.
"It's a masterpiece!" she said, pushing curls from her face and leaning closer to get a better look at the hat. "So many colors. You've really captured an impressive spectrum of roses."
"What should I name it?" asked Pea. Like boats, flower varieties, and great works of art, all of Pea's hats had names.
"Maybe something related to the flowers," Lou Lou said. "That one's clearly a Sunrise Luxury." She lightly patted the apricot-colored rosette and identified the rose variety. "And that's one of my favorite varieties, Lady Rouge." Lou Lou pointed at the red rosette that Pea had just attached.
"How about if I name it Lady Lou Lou's Luxury?" Pea suggested.
"I love it! But you don't have to name another hat after me," Lou Lou said, although she secretly hoped that Pea would ignore this advice. Pea had already named two hats for her friend. A top hat covered in pink tulle was Lou Lou's Tutu, and a head-wrap-style one made from sari material was Bombay Bazaar.
"Está bien. You're my best friend, after all. And I've made so many!" Pea gazed proudly at the hats. "Just a few more to go. I need to have enough for every person in El Corazón who is involved in the festivities. And that's a lot of heads!"
Lou Lou laughed. "Should we go to the candle shop now?" she asked.
"That sounds like a fabulous idea," Pea replied. She began carefully putting her hat-making supplies into a bin labeled with her initials. Lou Lou wandered back into the showroom and saw a petite woman with bobbed gray hair and a pretty red blouse greeting Mr. Vila.
"Abuela Josie!" Lou Lou ran to hug Pea's grandmother Josefina Flores. At the sound of her abuela's name, Pea emerged from the workshop to join in the hug.
"Hola, mijas. I was hoping I'd see you here." Abuela Josie smiled, and her brown eyes crinkled at the sides. Pea's abuela looked a lot like Pea except for the blue eyes, which Pea had inherited from her father's side of the family.
"Did you come to see my hats?" asked Pea.
"I always love looking at your newest creations! But I'm here for another reason, I'm afraid." Abuela Josie reached into her bag and took out a black suede hat with a thick silverchain around the bottom of the crown. The hat was definitely old, but it looked well cared for except for the big chunk missing from the crown. She handed the hat to Mr. Vila.
"Oh oh! My my!" said the hatter.
"What happened to it?" asked Pea.
"I left it at the city farm and stables overnight, and I suspect an animal decided it would make a good breakfast. It wasn't in perfect shape to start, but it's unwearable now. It's my lucky vaquera hat!" Abuela Josie put one hand over her eyes. "I can't perform at the Bonanza without it! No séque voy a hacer."
In her youth, Abuela Josie had traveled to rodeos across the country as a professional stunt-riding vaquera. She was most famous for her one-foot-drag, around-the-world, belly-flip combo, a stunt that Abuela Josie would perform for the first time in twenty years at the Bonanza. She said she was too old to pull off the belly-flip part, but she'd been hard at work practicing the one-foot-drag, around-the-world combo.
"Don't worry, Abuela Josie! I'm sure Pea and Mr. Vila can fix it. Right?" Mr. Vila coughed and Pea looked worried. Lou Lou immediately felt bad for sounding so confident.
"I'm not sure how ..." Pea trailed off as Abuela Josie's face fell even farther.
"Your abuelo, descanse en paz, gave it to me at the start of my vaquera career. I don't think I can pull off the stunt without it." Lou Lou and Pea knew that Abuela Josie was already nervous about performing her stunt after so long. Without her lucky hat, she'd be even more so.
"It will be hard work, but I'm sure we can do it," Pea said. She was smiling, but her fists were clenched.
"Gracias, nieta. Lo sé, lo único que puede hacer es su mejor." Abuela Josie gave Pea another hug. "Now I must be off to the shoemaker before he closes. My riding boots desperately need new fringe."
"I was just about to go out for supplies, so I'll walk with you," Mr. Vila said. "We need to make at least fifteen more fedoras, ten more homburgs, perhaps nine nine cowboy hats, seven berets ..." Mr. Vila was still listing hats and numbers as he and Abuela Josie hurried out the front door.
When they were gone, Pea turned to Lou Lou with wide blue eyes. "I don't know how to fix this." She stuck her hand through the gaping hole in the hat's crown. "The hole will be nearly impossible to patch well. I can't match the black suede since it's so faded. I'll let down Abuela Josie and she won't perform at the Bonanza!"
Lou Lou put her arm around her best friend. "Don't worry. I don't know much about hat-making, but I'll try to help. We'll figure it out together!"
"I suppose you're right," Pea said. She still sounded concerned, but at least she'd unclenched her fists.
"¡Perfecto!" said Lou Lou. "It's not a hatastrophe, Pea! Now we'd better get to the candle shop. PSPP is almost over!"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Lou Lou & Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza"
Copyright © 2018 Jill Diamond.
Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE: PSPP,
CHAPTER TWO: Marvelous Millinery,
CHAPTER THREE: Candles and Caracoles,
CHAPTER FOUR: Coco Chanel or Coconut,
CHAPTER FIVE: A Putt-Putt-the-Puli Emergency,
CHAPTER SIX: The Preview,
CHAPTER SEVEN: Heartbreak at the Heliotrope,
CHAPTER EIGHT: Giles ... Diary ... Fake,
CHAPTER NINE: Lou Lou and Pea to the Rescue Again!,
CHAPTER TEN: Abuela Josie's Attic,
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Superior Honeysuckle,
CHAPTER TWELVE: Planning and Pastries,
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Operation Diary Mission Interplanetary 12 with Universe Coordinates 30/50,
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Gazebo Enthusiast,
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Accidentally Borrowed,
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Chestnut,
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Big Trouble,
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Pea's News,
CHAPTER NINETEEN: Pastry History,
CHAPTER TWENTY: See You Soon, Gazebo!,
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: Amanda Loves Cupcakes,
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: Celebrar and Esperanza,
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: Fellow Feline Fancier,
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: Bonanza-Bound,
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: Caracoles Contest,
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: You Can't Eat That!,
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: Blue Beauty,
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: ¡Gracias por el Mirador!,
CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE: PSPP,
Pea's Perfectly Marvelous Paper Hats,
Lou Lou and Pea's Words to Know in Spanish,
About the Author and Illustrator,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a delight this second installment of the Lou Lou and Pea series is! The intrepid duo are back preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, the great celebration of the founding of their city. When a mysterious diary and a nefarious vice-mayor show up, ruining the plans for the event to be hosted in their neighborhood, Lou Lou and Pea sense something sinister is afoot. El Corazon, their neighborhood, is filled with unique characters (Pea’s stunt-riding abuela comes to mind) who aid Lou Lou and Pea along the way as they must solve the mystery and bring their city together. Spoiler: They do (with style and aplomb). A great book and a great series! Highly recommend.