February 20, 2018

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Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead | SLJ Review

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LennyStead, Philip C. Lenny & Lucy. illus. by Erin E. Stead. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596439320.

PreS-Gr 2–Peter and his dog Harold are unhappy to find themselves on a journey with their dad through the dark woods on their way to a new home. Peter thinks the move is a terrible idea and if Harold weren’t a dog, even he would do something about it. However, the decision has been made and Peter strongly dislikes the ominous looking trees that sit waiting darkly across the wooden bridge by the new house. The woods could be filled with terrible creatures. That first night, Peter and Harold cannot sleep. The next day, Peter takes action by creating a watchman, Lenny, out of pillows and blankets to guard the bridge. This is better, but something is still not quite right. Lenny needs a friend. So Peter and Harold create Lucy and the four become fast friends, making the home by the woods not so bad after all. Then they welcome Millie, who lives next door and likes looking for owls. This timeless story of a boy using his imagination to cope with loss and acclimate to a new environment is sure to draw in readers of all ages. The text is wonderfully imaginative and the mysterious nature of the woods lends feelings of excitement and intrigue. The illustrations perfectly match the mood of the tale, with the backgrounds created in cold grayscale and the characters popping to life with warm oranges, greens, and blues. VERDICT A wonderfully creative story of resilience and friendship.–Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

This review was published in School Library Journal‘s July 2015 issue.

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