Friday, 16 January 2015

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers' picture book, Lost and Found, is a charming tale about a boy and a penguin and their growing friendship.
One day the penguin just turns up at the boy's house and the boy presumes he is lost. The boy then goes on a journey to try and find out where the penguin has come from. As you follow the character, Oliver Jeffers tells the story with a humorous tone that will amuse both children and adults alike with lines such as “ He asked some birds if they knew where the penguin came from. But they ignored him. Some birds are like that.” 

The language and sentence structure are simple enough to make the story suitable for Key Stage 1. The themes of loneliness and friendship are ones often explored at key stage 1 and Lost and Found would be an ideal stimulus for these topics.
The illustrations introduce another level of narrative and add complexity to the written text. Whilst the story can be enjoyed by very young children the illustrations require a much more developed visual literacy. For example, it would be interesting to ask children in year 2 or above how Jeffers depicts the passing of time on the page where we are told 'The boy didn't know where it had come from but it began to follow him everywhere.' It is only as children develop through Key Stage 2 that they will be able to discuss the effects of the differing tones of each of the frames, the relative sizes of the characters in each of the frames and the distance between them. Likewise when the boy returns to find the penguin at the South Pole, younger children will not understand why the boy can't see the penguin. Although the illustrations are simply drawn, Jeffers captures each emotion of the boy and the penguin. How can the positioning of two small dots and a beak portray so much? 

Lost and Found won the Nestle Smarties Book Prize Gold Award and was the Blue Peter Book of the year.

Published by HaperCollins 2005 in HB and 2006 in PB
PB ISBN 978-0-00-715036-6


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