________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 3 . . . . September 18, 2015


Lucy Tries Luge. (Lucy Tries Sports).

Lisa Bowes. Illustrated by James Hearne.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
32 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $12.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1019-8 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1020-4 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1021-1 (epub).

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4

Reviewed from F&Gs.



Wearing a helmet for safety and a race suit for speed, Lucy runs to the start house. Courage is all she needs!

She sits down on her sled and takes a deep breath (Whew!)
The starter asks, "Ready?"
Lucy answers, "All set!"

The clock starts to tick down 3, 2, 1
At the sound of the BEEP Lucy's off on her run!

Lucy is excited to try her brand new luge sled, but she's nervous about going down the luge track for the first time. The track is big and fast, and Lucy's afraid she might get hurt. With a little encouragement from her parents, Lucy gathers her courage and decides to give luge a try. And as she speeds down the twisting track, she realizes just how thrilling a new sport can be!

internal art      Lucy Tries Luge, written by Lisa Bowes and illustrated by James Hearne, is a sweet story about a brave girl trying a daunting sport. Lucy is worried about taking her new sled down the luge track. The big slope scares her, and she's afraid she might go too fast. But once she manages to overcome her fears, Lucy discovers that the luge sled is similar to her toboggan at home. And just like riding down the toboggan hill, racing down the icy track proves to be a lot of fun.

      Lucy's tale introduces readers to a sport not usually seen in children's literature, making this an interesting addition to stories about athletics or other winter activities. The first book in the "Lucy Tries Sports" series, Lucy Tries Luge allows readers to experience luge first-hand, as Lucy not only contemplates going down the luge track, but eventually she races down the speedy slope alongside those sharing her story. Told in an upbeat rhyming scheme which matches the fast pace of the story's action, this is a tale full of movement and energy that's perfect for reading aloud. As Lucy speeds down the track, readers are given insights into the terminology, technique, and equipment used in this exciting sport, and included at the end of the book are some facts about luge and its history, making this a great choice for teaching readers about the activity.

      James Hearne's illustrations in Lucy Tries Luge are animated and bubbly. The pictures offer a nice complement to the text, especially when they go beyond the words and illustrate Lucy's thoughts, such as when Lucy's worries about the twisting luge track are visualized by a picture of the track morphing into a giant, menacing snake. But what makes the illustrative aspect of this story really outstanding are the pages detailing Lucy's slide down the luge track. Hearne has added a wonderful blurred effect to these images, highlighting the speedy action of the scene and making the story come alive with the exhilaration of Lucy's adventure.

      Lisa Bowes modelled Lucy Tries Luge after the High Five principles of physical literacy, a set of guidelines for healthy child development stating that quality physical activity programs should include a caring adult; an opportunity to make friends, play, and participate; and an opportunity to master skills. As an example of these ideals, Lucy Tries Luge successfully showcases how even a solitary sport such as luge can be a positive, inclusive activity.

      Lucy Tries Luge is an excellent story about trying something new. Lucy's zest for activity, courage to face her fears, and excitement for the sport of luge make this an entertaining and motivating read.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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