Finding François: A Story about the Healing Power of Friendship

Penguin. Jul. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525554004.
K-Gr 2–Although she is showered with affection from her grandmother, Alice is a lonely piglet. She concocts a plan that involves magical thinking, a message in a bottle, and sweeping ocean tides. After a fateful journey, her message finds lighthouse-dwelling François. The two strike up an emerging friendship and begin trading messages until Alice’s grandmother passes away. The loss causes Alice to retreat in sadness and grief. Upon the urging of her new guardian, Alice visits François and begins to feel a renewed sense of hope and opportunity. This charming features cute animals that make up Alice’s found family. Gordon’s use of watercolors and soft pencil lines bring texture and depth to the art and reinforces the story’s soothing, kid-friendly approach to life after loss. The placement of old found papers seamlessly blends into the illustrations.
VERDICT This is a warm, gentle story about resilience and how the bonds of friendship can mend the heart.

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