Lucky’s Lick by Mary Esparza; Illustrated by Denis Proulx
Written by Mary Esparza
Illustrated by Denis Proulx
Kids’ books stay perpetually white in the U.S. An article written by The New York Times about Education states, “Latino children seldom see themselves in books written for young readers…” The article includes a young boy’s remark about the books he encounters in his classroom: “I see a lot of people that don’t have a lot of color.”
In Lucky’s Lick, a picture book recommended for children ages 4-8, a young Hispanic boy named Juanito sits in a wheel chair in front of his house, waiting for his friends to arrive for his birthday party. After suffering an accident while riding his bicycle, he is left paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor says only time will tell if he will ever walk again.
While he waits, Juanito entertains himself by playing imagination games. He sees clouds that look like lambs and trees that lunge at each other like warriors. Suddenly, his mother reminds him that it’s time for his therapy. Every day since his accident, he receives massage therapy.
That afternoon, the house is filled with children’s laughter. Juanito receives five new Superheroes and he’s thrilled. Before blowing out his seven birthday candles, he closes his eyes and makes a secret wish. His uncle walks in with a small box and a tiny puppy leaps out. Juanito names him Lucky.
One afternoon, Lucky bounds into the room where Juanito is having therapy. His mother leaves the room and returns to find that Juanito is moving his toes. Lucky is licking them. With continued therapy and Lucky nearby, Juanito begins to crawl. Then, he takes his first steps.
Lucky’s Lick is a story that will touch the heart and teach young children that whatever happens in life, they can always have hope. Denis Proulx, the illustrator, brings the story to life by capturing friendship, faith, and determination.
To find Lucky’s Lick, visit: Guardian Angel Publishing (also available as an e-book)
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