Sunday, June 04, 2006

Review: My Friend Lucky

I'm going to have to concentrate on picture books for the next two weeks, to leave myself free to indulge in MotherReader's Book Reading Challenge. (Exception made for Specials, of course.

My Friend Lucky written and illustrated by David Milgrim. Atheneum, 2002 (0-689-84253-8) $12.00

I love a good "opposites" book; somehow the very simplicity of the form seems to bring out the most imaginative possibilities. This book about a boy and his dog, with just two words per page and illustrations that seem a half-step beyond stick figures, could not look any simpler, but it is filled with wit and affection. The dog's name is Lucky, and he and his big-headed boy demonstrate opposites together: "Lucky's sad" when he's all alone; "Lucky's happy" when he finds his boy. "Lucky chases" a rabbit" and "Lucky's chased" by a whole herd of them. My favorite spread is "Lucky's loud" and "Lucky's quiet," which are exactly the same picture of Lucky madly barking--but in the second scene, his boy has put headphones on. The book ends with the words: "I love Lucky/Lucky loves me"... and we believe it. * (2-6)

currently reading: Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

I was up til 2 am finishing Uglies - and just what I needed, a punch in the stomach right before bed. It's so awesome! Adventure, romance, conspiracy, hoverboards - what more could you want? The sequel, imnmediately, that's what, and luckily I had it - but waiting another week for Specials is going to kill me, that's for sure.

And now for one of my trademark long, weird, tangential rambles... I'm remembering a book by John Verney called Ismo, a sequel to the almost equally obscure Friday's Tunnel. I read it almost 20 years ago and remember almost nothing about it, but I think "Ismo" was a sort of password for a secret Peace organization. What I most remember was how much I wished I knew someone else I could say "Ismo" to and have them know what I was talking about. The way the characters in Pretties talk about "the Smoke" makes me think of that. I bet there are a lot of kids out there right now, metaphorically searching for the Smoke, and searching for others who are searching.

This is what science fiction and fantasy are for, I think... to give us ideas and places we wish were real, that we almost feel are real. Ideas and places that seem worth striving for.

I love Scott Westerfeld. He makes me proud to be a geek.