Great Books for African American Children: Luke on the Loose


Annika has always liked the illustrations in stories as much as the stories themselves. Around age 3, she insisted, more than once, on checking out some Japanese anime books even though we couldn’t read them and the story lines were most likely not even appropriate for her age level. She just liked looking at the pictures.

As for me, I’ve never been one for comics much, but she likes comic books too. I haven’t introduced her to many comics, mostly because it’s not my thing and therefore, not on my radar, but I was thrilled to ¬†find this post over on Planet Jinxatron, 11 Good Comics for Kids. We started out with her first recommendation, Luke on the Loose (Toon)¬†mostly because, as Skye points out, it’s one that actually has a healthy dose of diversity, which is sadly lacking in kids comics (and most media).

Annika loved it! As a beginning reader, the text was very simple enough for her to follow along with and the graphics were interesting enough that the story kept her attention even though it’s normally not something she would be interested in. But it was perfect for her. She has taken to lying in bed some nights before bedtime looking at a book for a few minutes and this was heavy in the rotation for the first several nights that we had it around.

The story is just about a kid who chases pigeons through the big city, starting in the park, while his dad chats with another father and doesn’t notice his son running off.

When he does notice, of course there is a frantic effort to find him while Luke just continues running through the city.

I recommend this book for early readers who love graphics, with the bonus of diversity. Not only are Luke and his parents black, but the background people scattered throughout the book at a nice mixture and there’s even a biracial couple in one scene.

Check it out at your local library as I did, or get it on Amazon here:

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