Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LUZ SEES THE LIGHT by Claudia Dávila


by Claudia Dávila & illustrated by Claudia Dávila

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55453-581-1
Publisher: Kids Can

A young eco-activist spreads the word in this message-driven webcomic spinoff.

Showing a realistic 12-year-old’s reluctance to change her ways and expectations, Luz at last sees the environmental light thanks to repeated large-scale power failures and her mother’s continued complaints about the prices of gas ($7.01 Canadian, which puts this story in a very near future) and of groceries that aren’t locally made. With help from friends like her comically high-strung new buddy Robert, a vegetarian and computer geek, and other neighbors, Luz goes on to convert a littered empty lot into a tidy, well-tended pocket garden/playground. Though the dialogue is anything but natural-sounding (“Good-bye, trash-infested lot, hello plant paradise! This is going to change the face of our street forever!”), Luz’s infectious energy comes through strongly both in her tendency to utter grand pronouncements and in the exuberantly exaggerated body language she and the other figures display in the author’s two-color cartoon scenes. Analytical readers may wonder where Luz gets all the free planters and playground equipment, or how she kept her mother in the dark until the park was a fait accompli—but internal logic takes a back seat here to inspirational rhetoric and the rewards of community organizing.

A high-energy consciousness raiser, if not a practical guide to environmental issues and action. (Graphic novel. 8-10)