Review Blog

Jun 01 2016

Lenny and Lucy by Philip C. Stead

cover image

Ill. by Erin E. Stead. Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760292119
(Age: All) I recall reading a short piece by Stephen Romei, the literary editor of The Australian, speaking about the best reads for 2016. On top of his anticipated list was the new picture book by Philip C. Stead. Stead's earlier book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and a winner of the Caldecott Medal, is a charming story of how the animals at the City Zoo visit the zoo-keeper when he has to take a sick day. Gentle drawings in muted shades illustrate both books, with charcoal being the medium for Lenny and Lucy, his new title. Peter and his Dad, along with Harold the dog, are moving to a new house, but they have to drive through dark woods and over a bridge before they get there. Harold and Peter are very unsettled at night as they look out to the landscape beyond the house. The next day Peter improvises a 'guard of the bridge', called Lenny, made from pillows and blankets. Inevitably, Peter realises that Lenny is lonely so Lucy is made from leaves and cloths, to keep him company. Daytime play centres around the two new friends, with Millie soon joining them from next door. With just the right amount of text, placed so well amongst the delightful illustrations, this picture book has great appeal for young and older readers. Overcoming fears and making new friends in unfamiliar places are observed beautifully.
Julie Wells

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