Light, Steve. Lucky Lazlo. Steve Light, Illus. Picture Book. Candlewick, 12/2016. pp. $16.99. 978-0-7636-8825-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-2.
Lazlo is in love and wants to give the girl starring in the “Alice in Wonderland” play a red rose, but a cat manages to run off with the gift, scampering into the theater and causing havoc. Brief text allows the detailed illustrations to shine. Most of the ornate illustrations, hand-drawn with fountain pen on Stonehenge paper, are b&w. However, hand-colored illustrations force readers to focus on the action such as the cat hiding in a tuba. An author’s note includes fascinating information on theatrical superstitions, many of which have been included in the illustrations. “The presence of peacock feathers in a theater is said to bring bad luck. The superstition derives from the notion that the peacock feather contains the evil eye, which will bring disaster.” Indeed, “Alice” is playing at Peacock Theater. After learning of the superstitions, readers will want to look at the detailed illustrations again. Lucky Lazlo is better suited for a lap- sit as the smaller illustrations will be lost in a large audience.
Dayni Kuo, Oakland Public Library