Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books


Fall 2016 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: Randy Cecil
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763668082
Hardcover Price: $19.99

Told in four acts, this poignant story by author-illustrator Randy Cecil is about Lucy, a stray dog who remembers her old, good life in her dreams. It's about Eleanor, a little girl who lowers a breakfast sausage on a string for Lucy from her apartment window each morning. And it's about Eleanor's gentle father, an expert juggler who works by day as a grocery clerk and suffers from debilitating stage fright whenever he tries to perform in front of a crowd. Details change as the story progresses, but each act opens with Lucy making her rounds on the streets, with Eleanor's morning routine, and, until the last act, with her father's failed attempts at performing on stage. In the finale, told with compassion and humor, the lives of the three joyfully converge. The quiet charm of Cecil's text is matched by his soft, black-and-white oil illustrations. A beautiful book.

Lynne Heffley   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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