Honestly, the only reason I picked up Lucy and Clark by Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon was because of the fact that it told a story about a dog scared at the dog park. As a dog mom of a puppy who took a long time to warm up to other dogs and still has trouble warming up at the dog park, I was really curious to see how this story was going to go. It didn’t quite turn out how I wanted or expected it to, but then again, this is a children’s book and not a book that’s meant to realistically portray a dog’s journey at the dog park. Though, if I think about it, I feel like kids do need a book out there to teach them about how dogs feel about and open up at the dog park for all those kiddos who get a puppy at some point in their lifetimes. As for Lucy and Clark, it’s a cute story but definitely not that book.
Lucy and Clark is a bit of a misleading title because the book is really about Clark and his journey to becoming comfortable at the dog park. While all the other dogs run and play while Clark feels nervous and stays by his owner, Tanner. Soon, a very pretty dog called Lucy runs by and introduces herself to Clark. It is Lucy who influences Clark’s desire to join the other dogs at the dog park. A story that really parallels the experience many young kids might go through when they go to a park or they start a first day at school, and this is an important message I feel that kids need to learn. They will definitely be able to empathize with Clark’s feelings.
There are, however, two things that this book included which bothered me. The first was the fact that, upon meeting Lucy, the only thing that Clark seems to care about is how beautiful or pretty she is. He doesn’t seem to want to play with her because she’s having a grand time at the dog park, because she’s great at chasing, or even simply because she was the first dog that said hello to him. No, he wants to join her in the games because he thinks she looks good. The second is the fact that, after he meets Lucy for the first time he comes home and refuses to eat. Not only is this not a great message to send children, it’s also rather concerning.
The illustrations are simple and cute, well done for this particular book. I liked them more than most. As for the authors, I learned an interesting tidbit about them at the end of the book regarding how they met. They apparently modeled this story after their love story on The Bachelor as well as their two pets, a fact that I find rather amusing.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.