Lost and Found
Brutal Canadian winters become a distant memory when temperatures hit the high 30’s (Celsius). For the last couple of days the city has been wrapped in a thick blanket of hot air; causing sweat to pour out of every crevice, even when I’m sitting still. With heat alerts issued, the city pools have become popular places, but even after a dip in the pool the sticky film of sweat and sun block remains. My diet for that last couple of days has been a different flavor of ice cream for every meal (in this heat, I figure I can just sweat off the calories).
Reading requires very little energy, and if you can’t afford a ticket to the South Pole where it’s cooler, a book is the next best way to escape the heat. Keep reading…
The cover of Lost and Found is a cool turquoise blue with a penguin floating in the ocean with an iceberg in the background. I felt cooler just looking at the cover. Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, it is a story about friendship.
Once there was a boy who found a sad looking penguin at his doorstep. The boy thought the bird was lost and tried to return him to the South Pole. In a makeshift rowboat they headed out to sea, rowing south for many days and nights. The boy filled the long journey with stories. Delighted upon reaching their destination, the boy drops off a sad looking penguin and sets home. The journey home feels lonely. With no one to tell stories to, he feels strange being on his own. With time to reflect the boy realizes that the penguin wasn’t lost, he was just lonely. Turning the boat around the boy heads back to the South Pole in search for his lost friend.
The illustrations are really simple and at times the characters are isolated on clean backgrounds. The illustrations were created using translucent watercolors, with a mostly cool and calming colour palette except for the bold use of reds and warm yellows here and there. The characters are basic in their construction; the boy is made up of a body with long skinny arms and stick for the legs. I am not sure if it’s intentional but it kind of reflects the basic structure of the font they chose, ball and stick.
I was delighted to discover when googling Lost and Found that they made a movie out of it. It’s an animated short (25 minutes) that has kept to the original illustrations and storyline. High praises to Studio Aka for not stretching or padding the story like many other children’s books that have been adapted to film. I don’t know how to get a hold of the actual film since it’s not widely distributed but you can check out the trailer here: www.studioaka.co.uk
Lost and Found, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author and Illustrator Oliver Jeffers
It’s been a while since we lasted checked in with Oliver Jeffers, not since The Incredible Book Eating Boy was showcased on B is for Books. Oliver Jeffers has been a busy man, check out his brand new website and see what amazing work he has been cranking out.
Publisher Philomel (December 29, 2005)