Lucy and Company

tr. from French. illus. by Marianne Dubuc. 56p. Kids Can. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771386623.
Toddler-PreS—An adventurous girl and her animal friends explore their world of woods, pond, grass, and trees. The first of three stories, "The Snack," is about eating snacks on a comfy tree branch. Marcel the mouse has a lettuce sandwich, but those who look closely will see him sneaking one of Lucy's strawberry biscuits. Dot the turtle has lost her snack. One of Henry the rabbit's hazelnuts is really Adrian the snail, who, after the initial surprise, becomes a new friend. Witty and sweet watercolor and pencil illustrations capture the fun of sharing food and company. In "The Treasure Hunt," all the animals follow Lucy as she searches, with the help of a special map, for buried treasure. In "The Hatchlings," Adrian the snail has found three large eggs. He's not big enough to sit on all of them at once, so Lucy tries and pop! Three bright yellow chicks make a comic escape from their shells. They see Adrian and immediately chirp, "MAMA!" He basks in his maternal duties until he's reminded that the chicks need warmth. A cozy mass of moss is found, but it turns out to be Anton the bear. "PAPA!" the chicks exclaim. This French import is a bit longer than a standard picture book, but its layout and simplicity, along with the division into three chapters, make the pages more readable.
VERDICT This lovable collection is a must-read for toddlers and preschoolers.

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