Lost and Found

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Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Harper Collins
0007150369
May 2006
Last year's Nestle Prize (0-5 category) Gold winner, Lost and Found, has just come out in paperback, prompting me to finally get round to reviewing it. Being rather a fan of penguins, I was immediately drawn to the cover, which depicts a boy and a penguin looking lost whilst floating in an umbrella not far from an iceberg. Jeffers's quirky, contemporary style puts me in mind of another promising young author-illustrator and former Nestle winner, Mini Grey, which is no bad thing. Both manage to convey huge amounts of energy and expression using stylised, simplistic drawings and unpretentious, child-friendly text. Before even opening the book, I was intrigued and expectant.

The story drops straight in, without any pre-amble, to an unnamed boy opening his front door to find a penguin. Presuming it must be lost, the boy sets out to return the penguin to its rightful location, not knowing where that might be. After rowing to the South Pole and dropping the penguin off, the boy finally realises that the penguin just wanted a friend, and a heart-warming reunion follows. Lost and Found is a touching, subtly moral story that encourages the reader to think beyond the seemingly obvious. One is utterly endeared to the silent penguin as he unquestioningly follows the boy, unable to convey his true desire for company. The unanymity of the boy is sure to appeal to young readers who will enjoy filling in the gaps, or indeed placing themselves in the starring role. Similarly, the uncluttered, open spaces between the pictures and text, and the big blocks of colour across double-page spreads leaves room for the imagination to breathe. Appealingly simple, gently atmospheric and pleasingly reassuring, Lost and Found is certainly deserving of its acclaim.



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This page contains a single entry by Rowan Stanfield Miller published on May 6, 2006 6:11 PM.

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