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LUCKY LUIS by Gary Soto

LUCKY LUIS

By Gary Soto (Author) , Rhode Montijo (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-25404-6
Publisher: Putnam

A young Latino rabbit must overcome a snack-based superstition in this baseball-centered picture book.

Luis, anxious about his Little League tryouts, is encouraged by his father, who reminisces about the strange things he and his fellow teammates did for luck. At the supermarket, Luis visits Mrs. Garza, the bear with the food samples he and the other kids call “tryouts.” After enjoying his chorizo pizza, he manages to play well enough to make the team and stops for a sample on the way to the team’s first practice. After another great performance, he connects his baseball abilities with his pre-practice supermarket snacking. Unfortunately, various forces keep Luis from his “tryouts,” and his playing suffers. A couple of conversations with his father help him overcome his superstitious behavior in time for the big game, and he celebrates the victory with his extended family. Montijo’s exuberant animal characters and bright acrylics will appeal to readers but may not be enough to make up for Soto’s lackluster, wordy text. While baseball fans will be eager to enter Luis’ world, others may find the abrupt scene changes jarring and the plot difficult to follow. The inclusion of Latino names and occasional Spanish words will make the book especially appealing to younger Latinos interested in the sport.

The great illustrations would have benefited from simpler text. (Picture book. 4-7)