ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Lucas Comes to America

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

The beloved dog of a philanthropist, Lucas is a very lucky terrier. In Lucas Comes to America, four- to eight-year-old readers get a picture of his wonderful life.

From his home in Manchester, England, Lucas travels all the way to Texas, where he meets his new mom, Caroline. She, like author Carolyn Farb, is an art collector and philanthropist. Lucas settles into his pampered life, becoming what Caroline calls “a favorite son, a loving companion, and a loyal protector.”

Rather than following a typical story arc, the narrative is divided into sections such as “Romance and Trips to the Vet” and “Routines and Research,” narrated by Lucas, that give snippets of the terrier’s everyday life with Caroline. Animal-loving children will enjoy the little details Farb includes. Readers learn that Lucas often hides under Caroline’s bed when he is being playful or feeling scared, and he enjoys taking baths.

The book is less about Lucas coming to America and more about his life here, so its title isn’t a perfect fit, and sometimes the sections seem a bit disjointed. Accompanying the sections are colorful, full-page illustrations, often featuring a very sweet Lucas, with captions that pertain to the sections, although a few of the pictures could be better placed.

Also embedded throughout the story are little lessons, such as the importance of manners, but the real strength of the book is the style of Lucas’ narration. Farb captures the exuberant, sometimes-meandering voice one would imagine belonging to a real puppy. Lucas’ sentiments and concerns will be informative for all pet owners.

While perhaps not an enduring classic, Lucas Comes to America’s light-hearted tone creates an upbeat book that showcases an excellent example of a loving pet and owner relationship. Lucas’ adventures with a new puppy will be chronicled in a future book.

Alicia Sondhi