FICTION

Oscar Seeks a Friend

Lantana. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781911373797.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2–Friends often appear when they are most needed and least expected. Oscar the skeleton wishes for nothing more than a friend, but he knows that with a missing tooth, his appearance is likely to be off-putting to anyone who does not know him. One day, he sees a young girl burying a tooth in the ground, and he approaches her. Both Oscar and the little girl need the tooth she is burying, but for different reasons: Oscar needs it to complete his smile, while the little girl needs it to make a wish. However, what they both truly desire is to find a friend. Together, the two set out in search of one, discovering something unexpected along the way. Three-dimensional paper collage is used to create the eye-catching illustrations in this book. Though the pages are smooth, they appear to be textured because of this unique illustrative technique. The skeleton’s resemblance both to Día de los Muertos characters and those in The Nightmare Before Christmas fit this book squarely into the realm of Halloween, though the story itself is unrelated. Written in the first person, Oscar tells his story directly to readers. Pages of descriptive narrative are separated by wordless spreads that progress the story in ways that words cannot.
VERDICT This is a delightfully unique and heartwarming story about friendship that is excellent for any library serving young children.

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