Lucas at the Paralympics

Igor Plohl

Book - 2020

"Lucas the Lion discovers the Paralympics--where physically disabled world-class athletes exemplify strength, determination, and courage"--

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Creative nonfiction
Informational works
Picture books
New York : Holiday House 2020.
First edition
Item Description
"First published in the Slovenian language in 2018 by Založba Pivec, Maribor, Slovenia."
Includes sidebars about how athletes who are blind, wear prosthetics, or use wheelchairs compete in different events, as well as the history of the Paralympic Games.
Physical Description
29 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades K-1.
Main Author
Igor Plohl (author)
Other Authors
Urška Stropnik Šonc (illustrator), Nika Lopert (translator), Kristina Alice Waller
Review by Booklist Reviews

Slovenian author Plohl's picture book introduces young readers to the Paralympic Games. Lucas, a lion, is physically disabled due to a ladder accident that injured his spine. Lucas loves sports and meets Eddie, a jaguar, who is also disabled and introduces Lucas to the Paralympics. Like the Olympics, the Paralympic Games occur every four years, and physically disabled world-class athletes compete in events like para swimming, goalball, and wheelchair basketball. Plohl blends the story of Lucas and Eddie visiting each event with facts about the Paralympics: the origin and history of the games, rules about how each event is played, and the type of equipment the athletes use. Plohl also fell from a ladder and became paraplegic, like the character Lucas, and his book raises awareness for children about physical disabilities. Illustrations by Slovenian artist Šonc are brightly colored with cartoon animals that pop off the page. Pair with Nari Hong's Days with Dad (2017) for a storytime featuring autobiographical stories that help demonstrate to children all the many talents of those who use wheelchairs. Preschool-Grade 3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-K—With an all-animal cast, almost all of them with one or more visible physical disabilities, this story follows Lucas, a lion, and his friend Eddie, a tiger, two avid paraplegic cyclists who go to the Summer Paralympics together and cheer on friends in the events. The text explains how different sporting events work, with side bubbles explaining more complex terminology and featuring humans with those disabilities. Šonc's brightly colored illustrations depict a variety of anthropomorphic animals happily competing in the events, from blind running and goalball to para swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, and more. Additional text and sidebars at the end explain the events of the Winter Paralympics. Plohl, disabled following a spinal injury, provides accessible explanations that, at least in translation, celebrate paralympic athletes without sentimentality or pity, while Šonc's illustrations make the basics of the sports clear. VERDICT A thoughtful and educational addition to the picture book canon, and a necessary purchase for all libraries.—Kelsey Socha, Westfield Athenaeum, Westfield, MA Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Lucas the Lion discovers the Paralympics--where physically disabled world-class athletes exemplify strength, determination, and courage"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Introduce your child to the Paralympics--where physically disabled world-class athletes exemplify strength, determination, and courage.Lucas and Eddie, two physically disabled friends, visit the Paralympics and cheer on blind and physically challenged athletes as they compete in running, swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair basketball, and more. Readers learn about some of the rules that expedite play and that even the playing field. For example, blind runners wear blindfolds so none of the competitors (some totally blind and some with limited sight) have an unfair advantage. Also, all of the blind competitors are tethered to guides. Author Igor Plohl, who lost the use of his legs after a spinal injury, is a teacher and passionate advocate for raising awareness of physical disability. As a teacher, he knows the questions children ask and how to answer them. A CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book