In this fanciful picture book, a birthday disappears and a little girl must get it back.
What if your favorite day just up and disappeared? What if that day was your birthday, never to be celebrated again? Such is Lucy’s dilemma. When she was younger, a frog shot her with a venom dart; thankfully, she was immune to the frog’s poison, but it turned her skin, well, poisonous. This proves to be perilous when the little girl begins to make friends. Soon, she becomes known as Lucy Lick-Me-Not (she’s lost a few kittens along the way). Like any child, Lucy loves her birthday—March 32nd—and she dreams of cake and presents. But it’s not to be: Lucy wakes up on her birthday to find not presents and balloons, but just any other day—her birthday has vanished. When she comes upon the Day Eaters—the grumpy, colorful monsters responsible for this calendar change—Lucy must think fast in order to get her birthday back. A little dark and plenty humorous, this gem of a picture book will appeal to both kids and grown-ups. Children will appreciate the vibrant illustrations and the heroine’s happy-go-lucky attitude, while adults reading along will chuckle at Lucy Lick-Me-Not’s weirder, darker origin. Carmel’s rhyming prose is frothy and funny—a feat, considering that Carmel is telling the absurd tale of a girl whose skin is poisonous. The rhyming couplets work well, driving the story along while still keeping things lighthearted. Illustrator Burkmar’s drawings are vivacious and alluring, perfectly aligning with the work’s irreverent vibe; the monsters etched on the page are indeed absurd but certainly not scary enough to frighten away younger readers. This work is the first in a planned Lucy Lick-Me-Not series, and future installments of Lucy’s story will assuredly be welcomed with open arms. Bad news for kittens.
A charming, wildly imaginative introduction to a brave new girl.