The International Writers Magazine:Childrens' Fiction
and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Published by Harper Collins Children's Books
Its the oldest story in the
world: boy gets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl, boy gets
girl back. Replace "girl" with "penguin" and
youve got the basic plot of Jeffers latest illustrated
book for children.
Relatively new to
authorship, Jeffers is also the author of the magical How
to catch a star.
Both the boy and the penguin are unnamed, making it easier for young
children to identify with them, and escaping the phenomenon of infants
claiming a book is about them just because they share the same name
as the lead character. As with any good childrens story, the boy
and the penguin are alone in the world, and, despite turning to the
Lost and Found office, his bath-time rubber duck, and some real-life
birds for help, it is the boy alone who must save the penguin and determine
The illustrations fill the page, whether they are of the rough sea during
the journey to the South Pole that took "many days and nights",
or of the boy and the penguin constructing a rowing boat for their great
voyage. The characters have a distinct minimalist style, but emotion
is still well-represented in their faces and shown in their body language.
This story tells a simple tale of friendship and love, whilst teaching
lessons about loneliness and appreciating what you have before its
gone. The book will also help children to dream of the wider world and
what life outside their families has to offer them.
If youre still not sure that Lost and Found should
be added to your bookshelves, or taken on a visit to a younger relative,
bear in mind that if you purchase it at Ottakers will receive
a free cuddly toy penguin!
© J. Atkins is a Creative Writing student at the University of
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