Lucas at the Paralympics

Holiday House. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823447657.
PreS-K–With an all-animal cast, almost all of them with one or more visible physical disabilities, this story follows Lucas, a lion, and his friend Eddie, a tiger, two avid paraplegic cyclists who go to the Summer Paralympics together and cheer on friends in the events. The text explains how different sporting events work, with side bubbles explaining more complex terminology and featuring humans with those disabilities. Šonc’s brightly colored illustrations depict a variety of anthropomorphic animals happily competing in the events, from blind running and goalball to para swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, and more. Additional text and sidebars at the end explain the events of the Winter Paralympics. Plohl, disabled following a spinal injury, provides accessible explanations that, at least in translation, celebrate paralympic athletes without sentimentality or pity, while Šonc’s illustrations make the basics of the sports clear.
VERDICT A thoughtful and educational addition to the picture book canon, and a necessary purchase for all libraries.

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