Finding François by Gus Gordon
Even though Alice loves the cosy life she leads with her grandmother (list-making! crème brûlée-eating! mermaid-drawing!), she does sometimes wish for someone her own size to talk with. So, she boldly throws a bottled message into the Seine, where it floats into the sea and eventually washes up at the feet of François, the son of a lighthouse keeper. A delightful wry correspondence ensues, true friendship blossoms … and then something terrible happens. Alice disappears inside her grief, and François begins to worry that he’s been forgotten.
Featuring Gus Gordon’s trademark anthropomorphic creations, Finding François pays tribute to the realities of loss and the healing power of friendship. Gordon explores some difficult feelings in this work, rendering them accessible for small people who will love his honesty and sly humour. His blend of soft watercolour and pencil with mixed media gives the work a lovely tactile and nostalgic feel, and may have you planning a trip to France. This utterly charming book is among my favourites for the year. For ages 4+.