cover image Papa Lucky's Shadow

Papa Lucky's Shadow

Niki Daly. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50541-6

Papa Lucky could ``dance the sequins off a champ'' when he was a young man--but marriage and children required him to work a steady job and save dancing just for fun. Now, Papa Lucky is a widower and has moved in with his daughter's family. He decides to shine up his dancing shoes and earn his keep on the streets where ``money walks and money talks.'' Lucky's grandaughter Sugar is delighted--despite her mother's protests--and even learns a few moves herself. Before long the engaging duo changes Ma's mind. Daly's text brims with both wide-eyed admiration and fond remembrance, and the family dynamics at work here ring true. The peppy be-bop quality of Sugar's narrative might inspire some impromptu toe-tapping. Daly's sketchy watercolor and pencil illustrations have a predominantly purple cast and the fluid lines of Papa Lucky suggest a combination of nimbleness, style and grace that send him ``jiving and bamboozling'' across the pages. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)