Henry lives in Rabbit Town with his family, a place where everyone loves books- except for Henry. However, his adventures lead him to find a book- not a rabbit book- with a bright yellow cover. Curious to know where it has come from, Henry crawls through a hedge and sets off to find the owner of this lost book. No one seems to care until Henry meets a little girl and he knows his Lost Book will be in good hands.
This beautifully illustrated book not only shows a non-reader’s discovery of the joy of stories, but highlights how our obsession with technology can blind us to the world we live in. Henry is shown exploring and playing- enjoying the outside world in a way so few seem to these days- wondering why the other rabbits enjoy reading so much. And play and exploration are celebrated- as he crawls through the hedge, a cut-through section of the each beneath him is shown to hold both the wonders of nature and a buried treasure chest! When Henry meets the little girl, she shows him her favourite things which are presented in coloured vignettes which contrast to the grey of the city, highlighting the pleasures being outside can bring if we just take the time to appreciate it.
Everyone in the little girl’s world seems enveloped in their own bubble, focusing on the gadgets they clutch. Most look down at the phones in their hands, one man studies his watch, obviously rushing to be somewhere, others wear headphones. Adverts for devices scream from every wall. In all of this, the little girl alone notices Henry clutching his book, lost and alone on the tube train. The curious glance they exchange is beautifully captured and their friendship is established. The girl’s father remains oblivious as he is glued to his phone- a sad reminder here of how some parents seem to spend time with their children without actually connecting with them. He is affectionate, but it is only when they are joined by her mother that the little girl speaks to them both, trying to introduce them to Henry, who having gifted her the book, has returned to his family.
The book ends with Henry enthusiastically telling his first bedtime story and the little girl sharing the yellow book with friends. Each illustration is beautifully created in soft tones which add a dream- like quality to the tale. A lovely story to share at home or at school, ‘The Lost Book’ is a joy to read and explore.
The Lost Book Margarita Surnaite
Andersen Press ISBN: 978-1783446841