Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review - Oscar Seeks a Friend

Oscar Seeks a Friend
by Paweł Pawlak
Date: 2015
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

What if you could turn the world the other way around and take a peek at what's on the other side? Perhaps you'll find something you never expected. Such as friendship. The sad little skeleton on the cover of this book might not look very promising, but when Oscar meets a lonely little girl, it's the start of an adventure for both of them. Together they make an unusual journey to two very different worlds, each beautiful and necessary. And it all begins when the little girl's tooth falls out...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Oscar Seeks a Friend is a cute story about friendship with eye-catching illustrations. Pawlak somehow manages to make a skeleton look cute!

Oscar is a bit lonely. He's just lost a tooth, and it doesn't help his already unusual appearance. So when he sees a little girl burying her lost tooth in the ground to make her dreams come true (an interesting departure from the Tooth Fairy myth we often see in children's books), he asks her if he can have it. She agrees... but only if he'll help her find a friend--which is, of course, her wish.

The pair travel through each other's worlds, pointing out all the wonders that they would show to a friend... if they had one. (Of course, you can see where this is going.) The illustrations really bring those worlds to life. I especially like Oscar's, with all the skeleton people and animals, and the unusual touches of life in what is ostensibly a world of death. A simple collage technique is used to create the complex illustrations where there's plenty to look at. And those pictures fit in with the text quite nicely. This book has been translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and it's a lovely translation; I can't find much to fault in the narrative itself.

For readers looking for quirky books about friendship--even if one of the people seeking a friend is technically dead--Oscar Seeks a Friend might be just the thing. It's got a delicious aesthetic and a bit of a twist on traditions involving children's lost teeth.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4.17 out of 5 ladybugs

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