Prather’s Pick: A book without words
It can’t be easy to author a book without words. The reader has to rely on visual clues—for example, the characters’ expressions and other forms of body language. “Found,” this week’s picture book, for ages 4 to 8, is a book without words.
“Found” was authored by Jeff Newman and illustrated by Larry Day. The book is published by Simon & Schuster (2018).
The names for the book’s characters used in this review come from the book’s description, found on the credit page. Jen, a girl who looks to be about middle school age, has lost her big black and white dog named Prudence. One of the missing dog posters is tacked to Jen’s bulletin board. “Prudence” is also written on a dog dish in Jen’s room.
As the story begins, Jen is staring out of her upstairs apartment window, possibly hoping that she might see Prudence. She notices Roscoe, a little “scruffy” golden-colored dog on the street below. It’s raining (because there’s snow around the street it may be spring), and Roscoe is standing in water.
So Jen, dressed in a red coat, rescues Roscoe. She carries him upstairs. The little dog is cradled under her arm, and his expression can only be described as “adorable.” He probably wonders what’s going on.
Jen takes Roscoe to her room where she feeds him from the bowl with “Prudence” written on it. She shows him Prudence’s dog bed. The little dog feels the bed with one paw. He looks happy.
Jen gets ready for bed. When she comes back into the bedroom she finds Roscoe with a red ball in his mouth. A collar and leash lie on the floor. Jen clutches the ball. The look on her face lets Roscoe know that she isn’t ready to share Prudence’s ball. The dog hides under the bed.
That night Roscoe tries to sleep on the bed with Jen. She keeps pointing at the dog bed on the floor, but the next morning he is in bed with her.
Jen and Roscoe get to know one another. They enjoy playing with a blue ball. Jen is starting to fall in love with Roscoe.
Then one day Jen takes Roscoe with her to the pet store to buy dog food. When she comes out of the store she sees it—a missing dog poster with Roscoe’s picture on it. There’s an address and phone number on the poster, too.
Jen tosses and turns all night long. In the morning all of the covers are on the floor. When Jen wakes up, Roscoe is sleeping beside her.
There’s only one thing to do. Jen takes Roscoe to 207 South Melvin where he is reunited with his owner, a young boy about Jen’s age. Roscoe is delighted to see his owner again.
Poor Jen. Now she has lost two dogs. On the way home, she passes a Humane Shelter…
The illustrations in the book are pen and ink with watercolor and gouache. The book is superbly done!
“Found,” in hardcover, costs $17.99. You can also find the book , with new titles, in the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries.