Friday, August 16, 2013

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Once there was a boy and one day he found a penguin at his door...

So begins Lost and Found: the story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy and a penguin. When the penguin turns up, the young boy assumes he is lost and tries to help the penguin find his home - with surprising and heart warming results.

Lost and Found is quite long for a picture book - I remember when Maximilian first chose it for us to read (when he was around 13 months of age) that I was surprised that he sat through the whole book. The story is told in narrative format with no rhyming text. A young child with a short attention span might not make it through the whole story initially, but there is lots of detail in the illustrations to help sustain their interest.

On the flip side, Lost and Found is definitely a picture book with lasting value - even primary school readers would find much of interest in the illustrations and parents could have some fascinating discussion with their older child about the story elements. It would also be a nice addition to a beginner readers collection - so often early reader books don't really have much of a story so Lost and Found would be a nice story to help children who are learning to read independently.

Maximilian was lucky enough to receive this gorgeous book as a gift from a dear friend. Lost and Found was the first Oliver Jeffers' book to make it into our picture book collection (although I do have a copy of The Heart and the Bottle that is in my own book collection that I bought some years ago - an amazing book about grief. Right up there with A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.)

As I said in my post about Stuck, I love everything Oliver Jeffers creates and he is one of my favourite children's authors. He manages to create stories that are funny, interesting and completely engaging as well as books that are absolutely delightful and beautiful to look at. Jeffers is an amazingly talented artist - most of the artwork in his picture books could easily be framed and hung on the wall, and the illustrations in Lost and Found really are unique and beautiful. Jeffers' website has prints of images from his books for sale - I'm coveting this one of the cover of Lost and Found amongst others!

We have the board book edition of Lost and Found, but it is available in paperback as well. If you are buying this book as a gift, I'd definitely recommend the board book for any child aged 3 and under - it will be much more hard-wearing for those little hands that won't be able to resist turning pages and examining the illustrations. For an older child, the paperback version is a great choice as the illustrations look even better bigger!!

Lost and Found has won multiple awards and has also been made into an award winning short film, which I can't wait to watch! 

I highly recommend this book as an addition to any picture book collection, and it is a real keeper - so perfect as a gift for any child. Best suited for children aged 2 and up.

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