cover image The Lost Package

The Lost Package

Richard Ho, illus. by Jessica Lanan. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-23135-2

Ho’s moving story uses less than 200 words—including part of the USPS motto, “neither snow,/ nor rain,/ nor heat,/ nor gloom of night”—to trace a package’s journey across the United States. But the pictures depict far more than its trip: a parent and child’s drive across the variable U.S. landscape, a long-distance relationship, and budding new friendships. Opening with a tan-skinned child in New York City carefully packing a box and taking it to the post office, the book devotes several spreads to detailing the postal processes the box undergoes before accidentally flying off a mail truck en route to the airport. It is found by a Black child and parent who, serendipitously, soon move to San Francisco, the package’s destination. The richness of the tale lies in subtly textured watercolor illustrations by Lanan (The Fisherman & the Whale), which poignantly portray a broad range of settings, from gritty urban streets shimmering with rain to snow-swept terrains to a desolate gas station. An end note by Ho (Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars) contextualizes this homage to the USPS, where his immigrant father worked for more than 30 years, and urges readers to support the now-struggling agency. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt. Illustrator’s agent: Ed Maxwell, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. [em](Mar.) [/em]