Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Children's Picture E-Book Review: Lucky by Craig Inglis

Today's Children's Picture e-Book Review is Lucky, written by Craig Inglis and illustrated by Richard Kinsey, for Ages 3-9.

My Ratings: 
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Illustrations: 5 Stars
Story: 4 Stars


Lucky is about a lonely man who befriends a dog and names him Lucky. They have lots of fun together until tragedy strikes and Lucky loses a leg. Lucky has to re-learn how to walk, but the man loves him through it and they end happily ever after.

The illustrations are whimsical and adorable, Kinsey has a distinct style in his art that really adds to the story. I'd love to see more illustrations from him. I read this book to my 4, 7 and 10 year old. We enjoyed it, except we found the end a bit odd when Lucky relearned to walk on three legs and was even better than before and he felt like he was flying. I assumed it was metaphorical, but kids were confused. Did Lucky really learn to fly? Or did they feel like they were flying because of their close friendship and happiness at being together? The odd ending kept this book from a 5 star rating on the story.

I interviewed author Craig Inglis, and this is what he said:

Why did you begin writing? I began writing about 10 years ago. I was interested in the biographies of people who had overcome disabilities to lead productive lives. I had a book about FDR and one about Christopher Reeve that I was shopping around to publishers. 

Why did you write about Lucky? I was always interested in children's books, especially  picture books. I had studied Children's Literature in college and read stories to the children when I was a teacher in pre-school. So when I hit the wall with biographies, I turned to writing children's stories. "Lucky" was my first. 

I took the idea of disabilities and gave it to the character of a dog, who, in the book, overcame his disability. I engaged the help of a friend who was an artist with a whimsical side to his art and we completed "A man and His Three-Legged Dog." I shopped it around for a while with no success and then tried a few other stories with no success. Then, one day I was listening to [the song] "Lucky" by Jason Mraz. I suddenly realized that "Lucky" was the perfect title for my dog book and also re-wrote the story emphasizing love and determination.

What do you hope your readers will think about Lucky? I hope that children will come away from reading the book with the belief that they can overcome obstacles in their lives with the love of friends and with plenty of determination. When things are tough, maybe schoolwork or sports, don't give up!  Also, I hope that kids gain some respect for the disabled people that they meet.

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