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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Luke on the Loose, written and illustrated by Harry Bliss. A Toon Book, Candlewick Press. Random House, 2009. $6.00 ages 3 and up


He's lost!
Okay, we'll find him!
He can't get too far
After all...
he's just a little kid!


I am a big fan of TOON BOOKS and the 'Toon into Reading' series. I am also a dedicated fan of Harry Bliss, and enjoy a Bliss Cartoon of the Day early every morning. It's a great start! So, I was really pleased to receive this early reader that is sure to entertain.

Luke is a young boy with little patience for standing still. That is just what he must do while on a morning walk with his father, who constantly stops to talk with other dads (boring dad talk). Luke is quick to find release from the humdrum visiting when he spies a group of pigeons nearby. He is off at high speed, and far ahead of his father in no time. It's New York City. Luke is a young man on a mission. He has no idea that danger lurks around every corner. He wants to be as free as the birds he is chasing.

The map of New York that faces the title page allows readers, and their adults, to track the chase that takes Luke away from Central Park, through Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge and onto the roof of an apartment block's water tower where he finally succumbs to the exhaustion of the chase. Fire fighters save the day, and he is sleepily returned to his grateful parents.

There are consequences for flight the next time they go out together, as alert readers will see on the last page!

While the text bubbles and repetitive words will make this perfect fare for those little ones wanting to read something funny and meaningful, they will also be attracted to the stories that are taking place apart from the story's chase. The panels will entice them through the story's action, but they will  be
clearly aware of the many subplots that are happening in the background.

What child doesn't imagine total independence, no matter the venue? For those comic-loving parents who share it, there are some surprise guests!  READ ON!


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