Sports reporter Bowes answers a question frequently voiced at the Olympic Games: where do lugers come from?
The simple answer is that lugers are grown-up kids who like to lie on their backs and skid on ice at about 100 miles per hour—not necessarily a universal predilection. Series protagonist Lucy pipes a small reservation—“will the sled go too fast?... /...she’s afraid she might crash!”—but her parents give her the needed encouragement: “Don’t worry!” It’s not exactly clear here whom Lucy is doing this for: herself, her parents, her dog? She rips down the run and makes it to the end, where her parents tell her, “You make us so proud!” As a boot in the pants to get kids outside, this may be overmuch, akin to suggesting a couch potato take up ski jumping or rock climbing. But luging is just another form of an ancient sport—you sit on something that slides on ice or snow, and go—so there is room to maneuver: perhaps readers might like to start with a nice piece of cardboard. Hearne’s artwork conveys the speed in a hyperglossy fashion that tends, oddly, to mute the colors but is still plenty cheery.
As a stimulant to get the young away from screens of all types, the best first step may not be behind the wheel of a stock car on runners. (Picture book. 4-8)