Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.
Published by Lantana Publishing, 2019.
I was immediately drawn to this book because of its wonderfully striking front cover: the symmetry, the contrast in colour, and the forlorn central character. And what a wonder it is! Oscar seeks a friend is a beautiful picture book.
The illustrations are completely fabulous. Paweł Pawlak uses paper craft and collage to great effect. The backgrounds are layers of coloured and patterned paper. Characters, buildings and other details are pieced together from paper, card, fabric and tissue. The results are stunning – intricate and original.
Oscar is a lonely skeleton. It’s hard for him to make friends and the problem is compounded when he loses a tooth because now he looks even more scary. When he sees a little girl burying a tooth in the ground, he politely asks her if he may have it. She is reluctant because she believes in the superstition that burying a tooth makes your dreams come true. And she’s made a wish for a friend. She agrees to give Oscar her tooth if he’ll help her find a friend.
The two of them set off together. First they explore the little girl’s world, characterised by lighter pages and brighter colours. Then they visit Oscar’s darker, more muted world. They have great fun together exploring each other’s worlds visiting a meadow, the seaside, a park and a vast library. I really enjoyed the visual juxtaposition of Oscar’s dark world and the little girl’s lighter world.
Oscar seeks a friend is such a heart warming story of childhood friendship. It’s joyous and uplifting.
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Lantana Publishing for sending me this book to review.