Lucky Lazlo by Steve Light

Lucky Lazlo by Steve Light is a visual delight, as are all his picture books. With his newest book, I also learned a lot about theater traditions from the author's note at the end of the book that sent me back to the beginning to read all over again with a new eye.

Lazlo is in love. He buys the last red rose - how lucky! - from a flower seller and heads to the theater where the girl he loves is starring in Alice in Wonderland at the Peacock Theater. But in front of the theater, Lazlo runs into some bad luck. A cat steals his rose and the chase is on!

Through the stage door and into the backstage where everyone is getting their costumes on, across the orchestra pit, over the prop table and beyond, the chase continues. The cat breaks a mirror - cringe - but drops the rose when he sees a mouse to chase. Lazlo snatches up the rose, a big smile on his face, and he steps onto a stray croquet ball that sends him rolling across the stage to cries of, "Bravo! Bravo!" In the end, the girl gets the rose and Lazlo gets a kiss. And the cat gets the mouse.

A superb read, especially with Light's intricately detailed pen and ink illustrations with pops of color, reminiscent of 1960s style. But, there's more! The Author's Notes begin,

What started as a simple love story set in a theater became a madcap adventure involving superstitions. The more research I did, the more I was drawn to the superstitions and harbingers of good and bad luck surrounding theaters and actors. It's no wonder that things go wrong for Lazlo and the cast and crew at the Peacock Theater. They have broken every superstitious rule in the book! See how many you can spot. Good luck . . . er - Break a leg!

I definitely appreciated all I learned while reading Lucky Lazlo and I enjoyed sharing it with listeners when reading it out loud. I can't wait to see what Steve Light does next!

More books by the marvelous Steve Light with links to my reviews!

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