Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Rich really doesn’t know where he belongs because everyone tells him he doesn’t belong and it makes him sad. All he wants to do is find out where he belongs. A fairy kindly suggests he look for the leprechaun and he’ll find himself. What does that mean? In Richard Lopez’s book, Looking for a Leprechaun, Rich is off on a journey of self-discovery. He meets all kinds of people, and they all shoo him away. It’s very sad until he meets with the fairy again, and she has some wise words of wisdom to share: “Look inside yourself and hold your head up high.” Her words confuse Rich, but he carries on and finally sorts out the mystery with a big revelation: “I belong wherever I want to be because I am where I belong!”
Richard Lopez’s picture book, Looking for a Leprechaun, is a magical story about believing in yourself and finding your place in this troubling world. The plot follows Rich’s journey as he pursues his need to identify himself, to find where he truly belongs. The text swirls around in various fonts, adding its own magical, spell-binding adventure to the marvelous illustrations that cover each page. The language is simple so young readers can easily follow along and the message is distinct: believe in yourself because the belief, the faith, is inside you and you do belong wherever you are. It might be difficult at times, as Rich finds out, because not all the voices you hear will be friendly and welcoming, but if you listen very closely, you will find the friendly voices that will support your belief in yourself and your sense of belonging. After all, we all belong and it’s important to know that.