This beautiful hardback book; a sequel to ‘Lost and Found’ is published Thursday 2nd September in hardback.
Traditionally hardback picture books don’t sell very well, unless you are Julia Donaldson but I certainly think Oliver Jeffers has the good to back it up.
Jeffers charmed the nation both young and old when he wrote and illustrated Lost and Found, the story of an unknowing boy and a lonely penguin.
This sequel continues in the same trend of the two friends embarking on a journey of discovery together, of developing their friendship and finding something even more wonderful than they had before.
Penguin has a best friend, he should be satisfied and yet he wants one more thing in his life…to fly. The boy enthusiastically helps in the penguins quest to fly; he has wings so why shouldn’t he fly? But nothing works and the penguins frustrations lead him to be led astray and forget that the boy needs penguin as much as penguin needs the boy. Ultimately the penguin realises that whilst it’s important and necessary to have dreams, we mustn’t forget about those around us and jeapordise what we have.
I read this book out loud to my Mum because I wanted to share with her how wonderful and inspiring Jeffers is. In the end it was my cats who gathered round to hear me read (I kid you not). But it occured to me how integral the illustrations are to this story. The pictures are so sparse, almost desolate and yet their simplicity draws you in to this friendship and makes you yearn for one as special as what the boy and the penguin have.
It’s just a hauntingly beautiful book and I’ve not been as passionate and enthusiastic about a picture book author in a long time. But Oliver Jeffers can do something remarkable with his words and pictures- he creates a world. A world we know is not quite real, and yet speaks to us in such a way that we are moved for quite some time. Perhaps his books are more profound to adults, remebering a childhood friendship in which you tried to fly to the moon, or sailed to the North Pole.
But I also know that his books will please children, in a way as such they are brought back into their childhood, into a simplistic innocence which we often lose in todays world.
A classic I’m sure. I hope it becomes a TV animation in the same fashion as ‘Lost and Found’.