Lucia & Lawrence by Joanna Francis
Publication by New Frontier Publishing
Date: 1 June 2018
Lucia & Lawrence is a heartwarming and exceptional book that explores friendship, special needs, similarities, differences, inclusiveness and creativity. It is a story of two people who find themselves becoming friends even though they see the world in different ways, one full of whimsy and creativeness, the other living in a world of numbers and structure.
Lucia is not sure when Lawrence moved in next door but as soon as she discovered he lived there she decided that they must be friends. Lucia is quirky, fun, creative and smart; Lawrence is gentle, quiet, smart and fun. Lucia starts the friendship by sending messages on paper airplanes, tin cans, and a come play sign. Lawrence noticed Lucia but wouldn’t come out to play, so she decides to visit him. It is here they learn how different they are from one another, and it is also here that they learn how friendship doesn’t mean they need to be the same.
This story has such a positive message to it and really looks how inclusiveness is important. Sometimes there needs to be compromise on both parts without either person having to sacrifice too much of their comfort zone. What particularly moves me about this book is that no label is ever placed on either Lucia or Lawrence, yes their differences are noted but no time was it said that they have Asperger’s, ADHD, Autism, or any other form of challenge.
The illustrations by Author Joanna Francis are really lovely, they are whimsical, fun, detailed and packed with pictures that show the personalities of both her characters.
As a whole I really like this book, although there is one thing that I was not fond of and it is something I often mention in picture books, the font. I prefer to see an easy to read font in picture books as not only do we adults read to children but often they learn alongside of us by following the words. Using a more decorative font generally makes the words less clear, as it does in this book.
Overall, I highly recommend this book and would love to see this on public and school library shelves. Lucia & Lawrence is recommended for 3-6 year old’s but I think this would be a lovely book to share with 7 and 8 year old’s as well, and feel that that age group would get a lot of benefit out of it.
Thank you New Frontier Publishing for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.