If You Get Lost

Random/Anne Schwartz. Jul. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593375310.
K-Gr 3–A girl’s stuffed bunny falls out of the car as her family goes on a camping trip. The toy bunny comes to life and finds adventures with new woodland animals until he finds his way back to the smiling girl. The words in the story are sparse and lyrical, accompanied by Marcero’s soft, floating images. The intended message is difficult to understand. The bunny is frightened to be lost, as children would be in the same situation, but the advice offered will not comfort or help a lost child. The text encourages readers to “listen soft and softer/ loud and louder/ close and closer/ and find one thing/ one place/ one smile/ one friend. That’s when lost can become something else…a world of celebration.” In reality, if a child or toy is lost, the fear turns to sadness and dismay, not celebration.
VERDICT This tale has an abstract message and story that young readers will have difficulty connecting with. For better stories about finding things that are lost, turn to Oliver Jeffers’s Lost and Found and Mo Willems’s Knuffle Bunny.

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