#132 – Lucky by Craig Inglis

 Lucky 

Can a terrier named Lucy bounce back from some bad luck. “Lucky” the illustrated children’s book by Craig Inglis is a puppy tale any child will love. 

With an easy-to-read story and beautiful illustrations by Richard Kinsey, this uplifting, enlightening picture book shows children that they can overcome even the most challenging of problems with the love of friends and with plenty of determination. 

A man (he’s not given a name), who lives alone, decides one day that he is missing something.  He decides to buy a dog.  The man checks the ads and the pet stores until he finds the perfect dog.  He names the dog Lucky.  The man and Lucky have a nice life together.  They walk nearly every day and the man teaches Lucky new tricks.  One day Lucky darts out into the street and a car runs into him.

The man takes Lucky to an animal hospital and the veterinarian thinks Lucky’s right front leg needs amputated.  The man’s perfect pet now has only three legs, not four.  When the man picks up Lucky the first thing he says is,

……………….I love you just as much as ever.

The man teaches Lucky all the tricks he no longer knew, plus a few new tricks and they continue their daily walks.  Lucky, through determination and the man’s encouragement and love, does even better than before.  They are so happy together it,

………………. almost seemed they could fly.

A lonely man buys a dog, becomes smitten. The dog is injured and disabled.  Still smitten, the man re-trains his dog, who recovers, and together they resume their normal life.  That is the story.  Keeping the text simple and adding illustrations make it a children’s picture book.  Does it really?  No.  A children’s book, picture book or not, needs a child in the story.  Here we have a man, without a name, and a dog.

The author, according to the back cover, wants kids to know that their problems, even something as life changing as a disability, does not need to ruin them.  That with the love of friends and determination on their part, they can get back what they once had, or something even better.  Great message for sure, wrong audience, as written and illustrated.

Put a child in place of the man and have the child accidentally leave the gate open on his way to school.   The dog runs out of the gate and towards the child, who is waiting at the school bus stop.  The dog runs out into the street and is hit by a car.  Now the child has hurt his friend (by leaving open a gate he knows he is to keep closed).

The child feels guilty and believes the loss of the dog’s leg rests with him.  The guilt-stricken child learns to overcome his guilt, as he retrains and helps his dog recover.  With the child doing all of this, instead of the man, you have a children’s story.  Add illustrations and it becomes  a picture book–for children.

A grown-up, without any kids involved in the story, does not work, in my opinion.  Please remember, that is what any review is, the writer’s opinion, not fact.  I do  like this book.  Just not for children.  It simply misses the mark for a children’s book.  Lucky is a fantastic book for adults who, for whatever reason, have a child’s mind.  I have no doubt Lucky would help these adults and it is a needed tool.  I can say this from my social work career.

Why?  Because the man in Lucky would be like the adult reading the book: big, tall, same age.  They can identify with the man, where kids cannot.  That is what all this blabber I have written is about, being able to identify with the character and his actions and feelings.  With the right audience, this book can be a winner.  The children’s picture book category is not that audience.

To comment, scroll to the top of review, look left, and under the date is the link for comments.

“Lucky”

Author: Craig Inglis   website facebook
Illustrator: Richard Kinsey  website
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: November,2011
ISBN: 978-1-4637-7756-2
Number of Pages: 32

  

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