Lucy looks just like a regular kid. She’s got freckles, a bright red ponytail, and an adorable pet dog by her side. But there’s something unique about Lucy: she has a brand new luge sled and she’s got to work up the courage to try it for the first time.
Lucy Tries Luge is a lovely, rhyming tale by sports reporter, Lisa Bowes, that’s very sweetly illustrated by James Hearne. And as soon as I started reading it to my kids, my preschooler and kindergartener were enthralled.
Lucy has a new luge. Though she’s nervous at first (“Luge sleds go very, very fast – she’s afraid she’ll crash, you see”), Lucy steels herself, gets encouragement from her mom and dad, and decides to try her first run.
Lucy Tries Luge
Lucy waits for the beep of the clock, pushes hard with her hands, then lies down for the ride. Though she gets a bit nervous partway through because she’s going so fast, she reminds herself that it’s just like tobogganing and continues to zoom and swish through the curves. She crosses the finish line with a quick time and she’s thrilled.
And as soon as we finished reading the story my kids were all (yes, even my almost-9-year-old, who snuck over to listen as we read) clamoring to tell me just how soon they needed to get a luge of their own and try the sport.
I love this story for many reasons, but mostly because it makes an Olympic-calibre sport attainable and understandable to a very young child. By making the logical comparison between luging and tobogganing, Bowes gives children a tangible connection to Lucy and her luge.
Rules, attire, and experience are explained very subtly and at a level suitable for very young children, too. Older children aren’t ignored, though: there’s a “Fast Facts” section on the last page offering cool morsels of luge information (like why luge athletes wear a speedsuit, and how they steer).
Lucy Tries Luge is an excellent way to introduce kids to luge – perhaps one of the lesser-known Olympic sports – before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The book gives kids a wonderful connection to the sport. And who knows? It might even become the inspiration for some fearless luge competitors at the 2026 Olympic Games.