Finding François: A Story About the Healing Power of Friendship

Gus Gordon. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-55400-4
This fantasy by Gordon (The Perfect Seat) offers a heady mix of Parisian bonhomie and mysteriously conveyed messages. Alice, a small pink pig, quite enjoys living with her grandmother, especially when they cook together: “You are a marvel!” her grandmother tells her. Though Alice loves life’s small pleasures—watercolor-and-pencil drawings in milky hues show Alice getting a special gift from Miss Clément’s dress shop—she longs for a friend her own age. She stuffs a note into a bottle and tosses it into the river, where it’s carried to François, a young dog who lives in a lighthouse. Letters shuttle back and forth as a friendship blooms. Then “Alice’s grandmother was gone,” her chair empty, and grief overcomes the young pig. “Maybe Alice has forgotten me,” François muses. She hasn’t; her new guardian, Miss Clément, arranges a triumphant meeting. Gordon’s story is leavened throughout with gentle, tongue-in-cheek humor (“Where are you?” François writes; “What a good question,” Alice thinks, “I am.../ ...over here”). A jumble of whimsical details (the saga of the bottle’s ocean journey, François’s hobbies) at times distract from the central theme of enduring love, but it’s there amid the diversions. Ages 4–8. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/07/2020
Release date: 07/07/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-9848-1589-7
Book - 978-1-9848-1588-0
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