CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 17. . . .January 8, 2016
Lucy is back, and this time she’s trying a fun, fast, friend filled racing sport!
Lucy Tries Short Track is the second book in the “Lucy Tries Sports” series, with the first book having been Lucy Tries Luge. Lucy is excited to race around the short track with her friends, Ava, Claire, Rachel, and Jill. The girls put on their racing gear, gather at the starting line, and get ready to speed around the icy track. Just as with the first book in the series, Lucy’s adventures on the short track are detailed in a rhyming story that describes how the girls prepare for, and compete in, a short track race. The text is action packed and educational, teaching readers about the sporting event while taking them alongside Lucy and her friends as they enjoy the race together.
What makes the “Lucy Tries Sports” series so wonderful is that they highlight unusual sports in an energetic and positive way. Lucy has a ton of fun racing with her friends in the short track event, but it’s never about winning for these girls. One of Lucy’s friends loses her balance and crashes during the race, but she’s still happy to watch the others having fun. While Lucy spends a portion of the race in first place, in the end, she is not the winner of the event. Jill wins, and all five girls celebrate the victory with her. It’s a great example of good sportsmanship. This is not an ‘everyone wins’ book, but Lucy and her friends don’t look at losing as something to be ashamed of or angry about. Their race is meant for fun and excitement, and it’s a joy to read about the girls supporting one another, even in the face of defeat.
Like Lucy’s previous story, Lucy Tries Short Track provides readers with a lot of great information about the title sport. Throughout the book, Lucy and her friends put on official racing uniforms, and they race on an official short track rink. A lot of the features of the sport are worked directly into the story, itself, and for those that aren’t, there is a page of information about the history of the sport at the end of the book.
James Hearne’s illustrations are bubbly and colourful. Lucy, with her bright red hair, skates around an icy blue track. That each friend has her own colourful uniform makes the characters easy to recognize as they skate around the rink. This is a story told with a definite focus on action, and Herne’s illustrations do an excellent job of matching the movement of the text. As the girls race, the illustrations become slightly blurred, as if the racers are moving so fast it’s hard to get a still shot. This is a fantastic way to emphasize the speed and movement of the characters, giving the story the feel of a live action event.
Lucy Tries Short Track is a strong second book in the “Lucy Tries Sports” series. With the same bouncing rhythm, action filled illustrations, and positive look at getting out and trying a new sport, this is a delightful and encouraging read. Fans of Lucy Tries Luge will love this new addition to the series, and those who haven’t yet met Lucy will adore reading about this friendly and outgoing girl’s sporting adventures on the short track.
Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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