Title: Lucky Lazlo
Author/Illustrator: Steve Light
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Description: No knitting in the wings, no whistling in the building, and no flowers before a performance…theatres are very superstitious places!
But at the Peacock Theatre, where Alice in Wonderland is showing, a few rules have been broken…and Lazlo is in for a bit of bad luck!
My Review: This is an interesting picture book although I’m not sure how to feel after reading it. ‘Lucky Lazlo’ is roughly A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages with some colourful illustrations. The story in this book is quite simple, Lazlo is in love and the girl he loves is staring in a play, so he buys her a rose and heads off to the theatre. On his way though he bumps into a lamppost and a cat that was following him, takes his red rose and runs off with it into the backstage area of the Peacock Theatre, where Lazlo’s love is staring.
The story idea is very simple and never seems to go beyond Lazlo just chasing the cat through various areas of the theatre. I won’t give details of all the scenes or spoil the ending but I will say that this story finished very quickly and left me wondering if that was really it. The ending is predictably happy and a few scenes might be funny for some people, but after reading this it didn’t seem to make much sense, and others I showed the book to agreed with me. It’s only when you read the back page, the author’s notes which is quite long, that you begin to realise that the whole book is about the superstitions that surround theatres in particular. With the author’s many details of the various superstitions (most of which I didn’t know to start with), which is actually the most fun part to read in this book, the idea is to look back at the story and see if you can spot any of the unlucky things that people are doing. Unfortunately because I didn’t know the superstitions beforehand it was hard to tell with the first read through what I was supposed to be looking for.
The illustrations are amazing and I can’t fault them. They remind me of some of my favourite colouring books and are very detailed. Only the cat, Lazlo and a few other key figures or items in the story are coloured in. It’s supposed to draw your eye to the action of the story but I can’t help but feel an urge to colour in this book (I haven’t) as the rest of the illustrations are all in black and white. Spotting the superstitions is fun, once you realise that’s part of the story, and in each picture you have a lot happening so it’s fun just to look at all the detail in each picture.
Overall I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the illustrations, all the details as well as the fun superstitions mentioned on the back page. However as a story to read to kids (or for them to read alone) without telling kids about the superstitions first, the story doesn’t feel like much. It’s only after the author’s notes that it starts to make sense. For that reason I’m only rating it a 3 as I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I’d hoped and I’m not sure some kids will understand it either.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Do you like this book? What about the illustrations? Do you know of any superstitions? Let me know any thoughts you have, I love hearing from you 🙂
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