Diana Kizlauskas

Publisher: Bright Bear Books Pages: 40 Price: (hardcover) $17.99 ISBN: 9780991523337 Reviewed: November, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

In LETTUCE!, Diana Kizlauskas weaves a thoughtful, fun, and compelling tale—one that features memorable characters, vibrant, engaging artwork, and a positive moral for young readers.

Rabbit decides to plant lettuce in his garden—but he’s shocked when the plant grows as big as a building and leaves him wondering what to do. His friends come by and offer suggestions for how to turn it into a fortune, use it for entertainment, stuff himself silly, and more, but none of these ideas suit Rabbit’s personality.

Finally, he calls his friend Owl for advice. Owl is old and wise but also ill, and his age and illness make it difficult for him to provide for himself. This gives Rabbit an idea: He gathers his friends to help him prepare and serve the lettuce to the less fortunate townsfolk, and he trades some of the lettuce for funds to create a bird sanctuary to provide ongoing care to Owl and his compatriots.

Kizlauskas is a professional picture book illustrator, and it shows: The book’s illustrations are polished, expressive, and sure to capture the imaginations of both children and adults.

More impressively, however, this rhyming picture book takes a real-world ethical question—What do you do with your own good fortune?—and makes it approachable for very young readers. Rabbit’s friends are each distinct and likeable and he carefully considers their advice before coming up with his own creative and generous solution, giving adults a way to unpack conversations about friendship, personal morals, and altruism with the children in their lives. The language and plot are also straightforward enough to be rewarding long before children have the sophistication to consider the story in such philosophical terms.

This book takes complex themes and presents them in a simple yet delightful story. LETTUCE! would make an excellent addition to any child’s book collection.

Also available in paperback and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Darien, Illinois
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