Books by Barbara Lucas

THE DAY ADAM GOT MAD by Astrid Lindgren
Released: April 1, 1993

Why the prize bull should be in a rage and break out on Easter morning is a mystery; people from miles around gather to see what will happen next. Among them is Karl, seven, who watches while the bull rips his owner's Sunday trousers, listens to the anxious men discuss what should be done, and then—in a tender, persistent little voice—offers to scratch Adam between his horns. Adam accepts, docilely letting Karl lead him back into the barn. In the end, what matters isn't the cause of Adam's outbreak but the pleasurable excitement it causes—pungently described in Lindgren's amusingly precise text—and the peaceful resolution of the barnyard contretemps by the little "Swedish bullfighter." Tornqvist visualizes these farm folk in lovely watercolors, recalling Barbara Cooney in their careful attention to design, authentic detail, and animated characterizations; Lucas's carefully honed translation is unusually felicitous. In every way, a delightful vignette. (Picture book. 4-10)Read full book review >
A CALF FOR CHRISTMAS by Astrid Lindgren
Released: Nov. 20, 1991

Johan's family is distraught: the cow on which they depended has died. Meanwhile, rich neighbor Peter Jonsson spends a self- indulgent day in town at the tavern, then sets out for home. In his inebriated state, he is seized with terror at seeing a heifer he's bought peering from her sack; he throws her from his sleigh, and young Johan finds her by the road. In the morning, the heifer's owner is discovered, but Peter is so chagrined by his own behavior that he gives the heifer to Johan. The rather long story here is part gentle satire, part sober realism, and part the age-old message of poetic justice rendering good from iniquity—not, perhaps, what readers will expect in a Christmas book from the author of The Tomten (1979), but a well- told story. Tornqvist's watercolors are beautifully observed, a fine complement to this unusual glimpse of rural Sweden at the turn of the century. (Young reader/Picture book. 5-10)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1987

The first American edition of a 1979 publication by the famed Swedish author that, surprisingly, is more memorable for its illustration than for its text. The routine plot concerns Lena, five, who envies her older brother peter, seven, going to school. One day he takes her along: they meet friends in the schoolyard for a game of marbles from which Lena is excluded; she is introduced to his classmates, who greet her with equability; there is a schoolyard fight during which Peter defends his right to take Lena to school with him; Lena shines in nature study and Peter doesn't during reading. The story is hardly distinctive, but the crowded, brightly colored illustrations are entertaining and full of detail that the careful eye can follow from picture to picture. Lena and Peter are full of movement and expression, and the perspectives and antic detail give a believable child's-eye view. A modest effort for older readers of picture books. Read full book review >