A serious accident leads to a lesson in perseverance for a terrier named Lucky and his human companion in Inglis’ uplifting children’s book.
The story begins with a lonely man who decides one day to adopt a dog. After considering which type of dog would best suit him, he settles on an energetic terrier pup that he names Lucky. The man takes Lucky on walks through the park and teaches him tricks, like how to roll over. The two quickly become best friends, and their happiness is apparent in the bright illustrations by Kinsey. But the illustration’s vivid green, blue and purple hues give way to gray when Lucky suddenly runs out into the street and is hit by a car. The man brings Lucky to an animal hospital where a doctor is able to save his life. But in order for him to live, the doctor must amputate one of Lucky’s legs. Afterward, the man tells Lucky, “I love you just as much as ever.” He reteaches Lucky all of the tricks he used to know, and before long they resume their old lives, happily going for walks in the park. Though the message is clear—with a little hard work and determination, we can all overcome obstacles—it comes through in the telling of the story rather than through showing. Readers are told that Lucky works hard, but the illustrations imply that his road to recovery is quick and easy. Even the very young readers that the book is aimed toward could benefit from seeing the new challenges facing Lucky after his accident and how he works to overcome them. Still, the message is an important one, and Inglis does a fine job of showing that happiness is possible even after the most serious of accidents. Lucky and the man (who remains nameless throughout the story) also demonstrate the importance of friendship and the power of unconditional love. Young readers will find the illustrations friendly and amusing. The bright pallet complements the sunny disposition of the main characters, and fun details (like the picture of a mouse on a flag above the animal hospital) invite readers in for a closer look. A light-hearted tale that will inspire young readers not to give up when the going gets tough.