The Family Business

The Family Business
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
July 19, 2022
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A young raccoon forges his own path in this laugh-out-loud read-aloud picture book!

Lucky is a racoon who loves to dance, watch TV, and dream of the day he’s big enough to join the family business. But when Lucky finally gets his chance, his first day on the job isn’t exactly what he expects.

And so begins a hilariously rude awakening as Lucky discovers exactly what his family has been up to this entire time. Is there a way to honor his family's expectations while following his heart?

Author Lenore Appelhans's well-paced story is full of refrains and builds to a surprising finish and Ken Lamug's adorable artwork brings this special raccoon and his boisterous family to life. Perfect for fans of Gaston and Wolfie the Bunny, Lucky's journey is about the difficulty of balancing family expectations and being true to yourself.

Editor review

1 review
silly picture book about finding your own way
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
THE FAMILY BUSINESS is a picture book about finding your own way and feeling different. Lucky has been excited to join the family business for as long as he could remember, but he is too little. Instead, he stays home and learns new dances from his favorite show. Finally, the day arrives when he can join the family business. He finds out that they are going to different places and picking through the trash until they are shooed away. Lucky does not really like the family business, and it makes his tummy hurt.

When he brings this up to his family, they do not seem to understand. He decides to find a better way. Instead of stealing, he tries to buy food or get people to give some to him. This feels much better. When he dances for some children, who videotape it and send it to the news, he becomes famous - and this could be the start of a new family business.

What I loved: This is a really imaginative story about feeling different and finding your own path. The illustrations are cartoonish, brightly colored, and full of great details that bring Lucky and his family to life. Raccoons are certainly known for digging through the trash, so the family business seems fitting. Lucky not feeling comfortable with it and expressing himself to his family was great, as was his attempts to find a better way. Although it was silly, it held some good lessons about conflict and resolution.

What left me wanting more: The messages around stealing were a bit confused. While people chase the family away for stealing from compost/trash, Lucky uses some coins he found to buy some food. The found coins could arguably be as much stealing as taking from compost/trash, so it seems to confuse the point a bit. There are also questionable messages about the way that he "works" to get food from people and how this was better than what they had discarded (aside from it being obviously better to eat).

Final verdict: THE FAMILY BUSINESS is a silly picture book read about feeling different, expressing yourself, and finding your own way. This would work well for older picture book readers.
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