Book review: Lenny & Lucy
Lenny & Lucy, written by Philip Stead with illustrations by Erin Stead
Published in October 2015, this book elegantly captures how children cope with change, from finding solace in the family pet to creating magical creatures that protect you from the dark to making a neighborly friend.
Themes: Friendship, Empathy, Coping with Change, Ingenuity
Story: The story is well crafted and has a clear message. The main character is forced to confront a change he has no control over--a move to a new house in the woods. He winds up creating two creatures out of pillows, leaves and blankets to guard his new home from the unknown wilds of the woods. He lovingly befriends these creatures, bringing them soup and playing games with them. In the end he is joined by a friendly neighbor who offers to share her binoculars. These prisms of glass give the main character a new perspective on the foreboding woods that surround his new home.
Rhythm: Although there is no rhyming in this book, it keeps a good beat. There are only two areas in the story where this beat is artfully interrupted by interludes about the family dog.
Illustrations: Erin Stead's illustrations are always charming. She uses a mixture of pencil drawings and a limited palate of watercolors to convey the story. The main character is portrayed in yellow and blue while his neighbor's family is portrayed in red. She also imbues all of her characters with memorable traits, whether it be a shaggy dog or a pillow-man donned with a striped and polka-dotted scarf.
Nuts and Bolts: It takes me about five minutes to read this book to my daughter. There are 40 pages total with an average of three sentences per page. The targeted age range is 4-7 years old.