Book of the Week: Lost & Found

Lost & Found by Shaun Tan

Published: 2011 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book Of the Week:

Let me just mention the end papers – readers won’t be able to pull their eyes away. There’s so much going on, but not in an overwhelming way.

I love how author Shaun Tan blends soft, muted, almost overcast illustrations with bright, catchy, and passionate ones. Readers will experience the best of both worlds.

Tans incredible stories featured in this book, reflect the styles of his illustrations. Soft, suble, bright, and passionate.

I love how I found this book in the picture book section of my library – yet it is broken down into three chapters, featuring three very different stories.

I love how the three stories featured within the pages reflect the title. All the stories feature something both lost and found.

The Red Tree is the first story, and quite possibly my favorite one in the whole book.

The main character in this story is nameless. I know I said this once before, but I’ll say it again, I love nameless characters because I feel that it allows the readers to really identify with the characters, to let them see themselves in characters.

I love the emotions this story evoked.

This story shows that children too face both good and bad days. That even though they are small, and may not have as much as an adult on their plates doesn’t mean that they don’t worry, or stress out, or get a bad case of the blues.

The illustrations are thought provoking. I especially love the illustration of the young girl sitting inside a glass bottle, with a deep sea divers helmet on.

This story, along with the other two featured in Lost & Found, don’t underestimate children’s ability to understand profound artwork.

I love how some of Tan’s illustrations had a collage-styled  feel.

Readers, both young and old, will sympathize with the character in this story.  Both children and adults know and understand the feelings of isolation, finding who you are or who you are meant to be, feelings of trouble crashing down upon ones shoulders.

It seems that The Red Tree is a story of dispair, but really it’s a story of positivity, of hope.

I shows that there is always a silver lining to every bad day.  And that bad days are inevitable.

I love how the stories fad seamlessly into the next. And also how the pages between stories reflect the coming story. For example, before the second story, The Lost Thing, two pages are full of bottle cap illustrations.

Even though one of the main characters in the second story is a thing it’s relatable. We’ve all been lost at some point or another – figuratively and literally speaking.

While reading this, I remember the one time I was lost (actually, literally lost). I felt the same way as The Lost Thing felt – scared, alone, and yet hopeful that I wouldn’t be lost much longer.

I love how this story has a real steam punk feel. It’s industrial, yet soft.

I love how the main character has a bottle cap collection, and he carries around a book called “What Bottle Top Is That? 4th Edition”.

I especially love Tan’s eye for detail.

The Lost Thing looks like a teapot with legs and arms. It will make readers laugh, even if it isn’t a laugh out loud kind of story.

I love the character Pete, he’s real mellow and laid back. I especially love how he and main character sit upon the roof discussing life’s big questions.

I think this story shows that there’s always a place for us, a place we feel safe, where we belong, where we feel most at home.

The narrator says that this story of The Lost Thing isn’t exceptionally profound, but it is.

I love how the third story is a story written by someone other than Tan, but somehow Tan made it his own.

Especially in the last story – The Rabbits – the illustrations are intricate. For example one illustration depicts a mountain range in the desert, but upon closer inspection, there’s a sinister looking snake present. And not one, but a whole pile of them that resemble a rock pile.

I love how this story is all about changes – both good and bad. And the natural progression that change brings with it.

Since this is a bold story, and the illustrations reflect that. There are lush golds, and deep blues, bold, fiery red. The illustrations really are breathtaking!

I especially love the illustrations of the rabiles and the rats eating the lizards.

I love how The Rabbits is a serious, yet fun story.

I also love how this story have an industrial feel to it.

The writing is crisp, and smart.

The illustrations will stroke one’s imaginations.

Readers will not be disappointed in this book.

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