Lucy & Company / written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc. 3.10.2017

Kids Can Press ISBN 9781771386623

PRI PS-K Rating: 4

Lucy & Company presents a young girl and four animal friends enjoying the outdoors in three short stories. Marianne Dubuc is both author and illustrator of this primary-level picture book.

The Shack”, “The Treasure Hunt,” and “The Hatchlings” feature themes about friendship, sharing, and adventure, as carefree Lucy picnics and explores with Marcel (a mouse), Henry (a rabbit), Dot (a turtle), and Adrian (a snail) in a charming woodsy setting. Brown bear Anton has a brief surprising role.

On every page, the smiling characters show that friends come in all sizes and that it is important to care for one another. The simple dialog and brevity of each kindly tale are well-suited to preschoolers, but the most endearing feature of Lucy & Company is Dubuc’s sweet and cleverly humorous watercolor and pencil artwork. The details in the softly-hued scenes are unique (a rosy-cheeked rabbit sitting cross-legged and playing cards), silly (Lucy carrying the snail on her head), and heartwarming (a surprise birthday treasure).

Lucy & Company is a fun picture book for young children, with a soothing conclusion that makes it perfect for a last read before bedtime. A two-page map shows the setting of the stories and furthers the imaginative appeal.

Nina Ditmar, CLJ