Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

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Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Buy Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: A truly magical book from a gifted artist and master story teller. A beautiful story of friendship and discovery, which should be on every young child's bookshelf.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 30 Date: April 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007304349

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One morning I walked into the living room and found my husband and two sons staring silently at the television. I sat down and joined them watching a beautiful animated film about a Penguin and a boy. It took me a few weeks to find out the title of the story, but as soon as I discovered the name, I ordered this book.

I can only describe Lost and Found as a work of art. The story is beautiful in its simplicity, and the illustrations also have a magical quality to them. I have read criticism of some of Jeffers' early works for his style of drawing, especially the thin stick like legs of the The Boy. The critics seem to have fallen silent on this book though and there is nothing but praise for it. The boy is not the most realistic drawing of a child I have seen, but there is something special about it, some unique presence that sets this book apart from other books. It is not a crude drawing, but a very individualised, artistic expression of Jeffers' style, which is rapidly becoming a personal trademark. The rest of his illustrations are simple and uncluttered as well. Many depict only the main characters, a single prop on a white background. Another picture shows only a few house with a darkened sky, a full moon and stars.

The main characters of this book are a boy and a penguin. The boy also appears in: How to Catch a Star, The Way Back Home and both the boy and the penguin star in 'Up and Down'. The boy is never named. I don't always like this in a story, but it works perfectly in this one. The boy is nondescript in a way that I think makes it easy for a child to imagine themselves in his place. The book begins when the boy answers a knock at the door. To his surprise, he finds a penguin standing there, and assumes the penguin must be lost. The boy is determined to help this sad and lonely visitor and sets off on an epic quest to help the penguin get home. But before the story ends he will find something else that he has lost, and that friendship is the most valuable find of all.

The text on this is simple. The penguin can not talk, so there is no dialogue. There are simple sentences describing the boys actions, and thoughts. Their is something about this wordless friendship that makes it all the more special, as if words would only spoil the wonderful relationship between these two, but not being able to speak does lead to one misunderstanding. The simplicity is part of the magic of this book. There is a quality to this like an old and dear friend, where one does not have to say too much because so much is conveyed without words. With simple text and minimalistic illustrations, Jefferson conveys a wealth of meaning and emotion.

Both of my sons enjoyed this book, but my youngest loved it the most. He was 3 at the time, and this was one of his most well loved books for quite some time. Even then he rarely chose to hear this book in the daytime. He would always choose this at night and carefully place at the bottom of the pile of books, insisting that I save this one for last. If he grew very tired and was starting to nod off before reaching the end of the pile of books he would pull this one out and hand it to me. I knew then that he would be asleep soon. This book has a lovely, peaceful and soothing quality to it, making it ideal for helping children drift into a tranquil sleep. Now that he is growing older it is read less often, but even when it is completely outgrown, I will never part with this book. I have too many memories of my son gently falling asleep after this story, although he almost never fell asleep before it was over. He still enjoys this book now and then, but even when it is completely outgrown, I will keep this book. I have too many wonderful memories of this story to ever let it go. I hope that some day he will read this to his own sons.

If this book appeals then you'll also love The Way Back Home and This Moose Belongs To Me both also by Oliver Jeffers. Jeffers also illustrated Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer.

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Buy Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers at Amazon.com.


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