cover image Lost & Found

Lost & Found

Mei Yu. Union Square, $16.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4549-4547-5; $12.99 paper ISBN 978-1-4549-5264-0

Vivacious, art-focused Mei Yu could not be more excited to move to Canada from China with her parents and stuffed cat Meiow. She’s especially eager to make friends at her new school, but when she arrives at an airport full of English speakers—abundant green text neatly denotes her perception of the language barrier—her unbridled enthusiasm instantly becomes anxiety-ridden dread. School proves just as trying: Mei accidentally enters the boys’ bathroom and, at lunch, assumes that her classmates are judging her for eating her ham sandwich with chopsticks. After her baba creates a visual English glossary, Mei fastidiously employs this technique to skyrocket her language learning and confidence to boot—until she loses her sketchbook. Upon its recovery, she learns that her inventive problem-solving has inspired awe among her teachers and classmates. Illustrations rendered using black outlines and manga-style exaggerations reinforce Mei’s oscillating emotions. This bright and bubbly early reader graphic novel, based on debut creator Yu’s own immigration story, validates the sometimes overwhelming nature of learning an unfamiliar language as a child in a new country. Back matter includes an encouraging author’s note, a glossary, and a letter to readers regarding intentional spelling mistakes in the text. Ages 7–10. Agent: Steven Salpeter, Curtis Brown Literary. (Apr.)