Luke On the Loose Kids Book Review.

A Toon Book by Harry Bliss.

Luke is a little boy out for a walk with his dad. His dad gets talking to another dad and Luke is bored. He sees pigeons and chases after them. This leads to lots of chaos as the entire City is either in the path of or trying to save Luke. From Central Park to the streets to the Bridge all the way to the top. Luke chases pigeons throughout New York City and is too young to focus on anything else. Silly things like getting out of the way and not running off unsupervised.

The only thing Harry Bliss loves more than the City is comics. This may be a cute story for kids but it is also a love letter and an introduction to the joy of comic books and comic strips. A world in which anyone can show up. Olive Oyl, Tintin, Hulk, and I’m sure there are others I didn’t catch.

The pages have as much energy as the child it is intended for. Kinetic panels full of Luke leaping across intersections, tables, food carts, and alleys. All of the amazing twists and turns that the City has. But fear not! Luke is strong and agile. He is in danger this entire time, but there’s not a scratch on him. Darker complexion, well familiar with every part of New York, wearing a yellow shirt and dark pants. Named Luke. Huh. I wonder if Bliss hid another comic reference in plain sight.

Every day I hear someone  ask how to get kids into comics. Stop ignoring things like this! Everything is here. Panel layout. Word balloons. Vocabulary. Adventure. Colors. A hero a young reader can see themselves in. Silliness. Don’t grab issue 587 of random super hero and hope your son and daughter is interested enough to catch up. Grab a single story like this that works just as well.

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