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Just a Little Luck (2011): A Not-So-Random Walk Down Critter Street

Mercer Mayer, Just a Little Luck (Harper, 2011)


Critter's sister laughs as he contemplates his scoop of ice cream on the ground on the book's cover.

I’m your ice cream man, stop me when I’m passin’ by.
photo credit: ebay

Mercer Mayer has published enough Little Critter books at this point in his career that the guy has become something of a big business. Of course, that means that if said business is still making money, one keeps feeding the hungry masses with more little critter stuff. When you’re up in the vicinity of two hundred books, chances are things are going to get a little stale. Enter Just a Little Luck, from 2011, which is stale indeed. When Little Critter finds a penny on the ground, he thinks he’s in for good luck. Then the furies descend… given that most pre-lit books have a lesson at heart, this could have been done well; Mayer’s head is obviously in the right place, as he presents us with a series of events that make it obvious, at least to older readers, that an outside totem is not going to affect one’s luck at all. The problem is that the presentation is too symmetrical, too much of a sawblade, which ends up taking us in the other direction (that of “methinks the penny doth protest too much”). Try it at the library before buying. **


About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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