MY FRIEND LUCKY

David Milgrim, Author . Atheneum/Schwartz $12 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-84253-5

In this mild-mannered book, juxtaposed concepts ("Lucky's sad/ Lucky's happy") accompany naïve drawings of a boy and the title dog. Each two-part spread presents different moments in the same scene, along with simple words that express a changing condition (here/ there, warm/cold, lost/ found). "Lucky's big" shows the ochre-gold dog facing a tiny green caterpillar; "Lucky's small" finds him grinning nervously at a curious horse. "Lucky's loud" has the dog with his mouth wide open, barking while the boy does math homework. "Lucky's quiet" wittily solves the noise problem, with Lucky continuing to bark and the busy child wearing earmuffs. Milgrim (Cows Can't Fly) quick-sketches the uncomplicated images in a skinny black line on bright white negative space, and his minimal phrases appear in small print across the top of each page. Only the characters get a dab of color, and Milgrim anchors them with a horizon line or a piece of furniture in the foreground. The spare book design and casual drawings may be deceptively simple, but the word-and-picture combinations suggest a lasting give-and-take friendship. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/10/2001
Release date: 01/01/2002
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