KidLit: Lucky Puts Disabilities in Perspective
Looking for a children’s storybook that tackles disabilities and explains that being disabled is not the same as being unable? Lucky is a book that teaches young children that dogs are dogs, regardless of abilities or disabilities, and the lesson applies to people, too. Written by Craig Inglis, with bright, amusing illustrations by Richard Kinsey, Lucky is a simple story that handily conveys an important message.
Lucky is about a man living in the big city who felt something was missing in his life and decided to buy a dog, finding one perfect for him at a pet shop. The man named the dog “Lucky,” trained him, and considered him to be his best friend. One day Lucky breaks away, runs into the street, and gets hit by a car. Although the veterinarian is able to save him, Lucky loses a leg. “So the man took him home. He told him: ‘I love you just as much as ever.’” Lucky relearned his old tricks, doing them even better, and he and the man continued to be best friends and play in the park.
In addition to its disabilities theme, Lucky teaches children about animal hospitals and veterinarians. Despite Lucky’s tragic accident, the story is positive and enjoyable for kids (recommended for children up to age seven). Encouraging for those who feel “different,” for whatever reason, it also reminds kids that those who seem different may be just like everyone else.
As much as I like Lucky, I have one complaint. Lucky was bought at a pet store. With the millions of animals languishing (and being “euthanized”) in pet shelters, it is disappointing that Lucky was not a rescue dog. Lucky promotes buying a pet at a pet shop to children, despite the fact that most pet shop animals come from puppy mills and are often in very poor health. Certainly this was not the author’s intent, but the message “You can get a great dog like Lucky at a pet shop” is there.