Cover image for The laziest boy in the world
The laziest boy in the world
Namioka, Lensey.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When Xiaolong devises a way to capture the thief who breaks into his family's home, all the people in the Chinese village change their minds about the "lazy" boy.
Reading Level:
AD 670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 86630.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.6 2 Quiz: 28209 Guided reading level: M.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



After thwarting a thief, a boy of old China changes his way.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. In China long ago, there lived a very lazy boy named Xiaolong. When Xiaolong was a baby, he was too lazy to kick or cry much, and things haven't changed as he has grown older: he is so lazy that he washes the left side of his face one day and the right side the next. It takes a dramatic crisis--a thief breaking into his home--to provoke Xiaolong into taking a satisfying and messy action that changes his future. Fiction that reads like folklore, this is both fun to read and visually appealing, showing a setting quite different from the typical U.S. town but characters much like folks at home today. Xuan, who also illustrated Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend (1998) by Eric Kimmel, uses detail in dress and household artifacts to add both humor and an authentic sense of Chinese culture. The book is a good choice for reading aloud or storytelling. Unfortunately, there is no help with name pronunciation and no guide to cultural details. --Karen Morgan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sloth does not a chipper tale make, at least not in this sluggishly paced story. As a baby, Xiaolong doesn't cry or kick much, "because it was too much work." In boyhood, washing his face proves so taxing that he cleans the left side one day and the right side the next ("There was usually a dirty stripe down the center of his face"). But while Namioka (The Loyal Cat) finds opportunity for amusing anecdotes in Xiaolong's lethargy, there is something inescapably sad and pathetic about him. Too long in arriving, the tale's turning point occurs after a thief creeps into the house one night and rouses Xiaolong to anger‘and action. Xuan (Ten Suns: A Chinese Legend), using a combination of acrylics, watercolor, pen and colored pencil, gives Xiaolong's face a range of unorthodox expressions, but the task of rendering an almost inert hero seems to daunt him, too. Xiaolong ends up looking like someone who's mentally challenged as well as physically slow‘in other words, like someone parents won't want their children to laugh at. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-In a rural village in old China, Xiaolong is born lazy. Since he is the youngest child and the only boy, his family indulges him to the point that he grows up barely able to take care of himself. Specific incidents dramatize just how lazy he is. When he is hungry, he won't turn over to reach for bread; when he falls off a water buffalo, he lies in the mud for hours looking at the sky. However, when he sees a thief enter his house one night, he pictures his family's grief at their imminent loss and cunningly foils the intruder. This unaccustomed action makes him a hero and changes his idle ways. The deliciously subtle humor of the text is not matched by the heavy-handed illustrations. While Xuan's dreamlike paintings, reminiscent of Marc Chagall's work, are authentic in detail, his portrayal of massive figures and a hero who is lazy of eye as well as of limb teeter just this side of grotesque, more caricature than character. Still, the well-written story should be fun to read aloud, and is sure to make the most indolent child feel superior.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.