cover image Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Mark Teague. Scholastic Press, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-84619-6

The hapless Wendell and Floyd from The Secret Shortcut are in trouble once again (oddly, their teacher finds them suspect when they miss their math test due to an alleged giant squid in the bathroom). As they wait outside the principal's office, they're pulled into yet another adventure. In pursuit of classmate Mona Tudburn, who is searching for her missing ""lucky hat,"" they tumble into the Lost and Found box. The bottomless container yields lots of surprises; caverns and passageways full of stray items (a bowling pin, a suit of armor) give way to a room full of hats, where they each find a lucky one of their own. Indeed, by story's end it does seem that their fortunes may finally be changing. Teague's latest sly take on the wild flights of childhood fancy is as entertaining as always, and he doles out his deadpan artistic style with a wink--from the permanently surprised expressions fixed on the boys' faces to such clever asides as a sign for ""Atlantis"" tucked into a corner of one of the caverns. Shifts in color and perspective signal the scene changes from the ordinary to the fantastical; drab tones fill in the school's upright walls and solid doors, while floral shades define the world of the Lost and Found box, an Oz-like destination with columns and archways that loom and lean, as though viewed through a fish-eye lens. Readers will be delighted to find that the ending leaves the door wide open to further escapades. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)