This is one of the best books that has hit my desk lap in a little while. It’s actually not a new release. It was first published in 2009, but this paperback version has just been published. It’s also won many design and illustration awards.
Why is it a favourite? To be honest, I’m not exactly sure, but it simply makes my heart sing and I’m more than happy to read it over, and over, and over, and over again.
The book arrived while my daughter was napping. I read it alone first, and knew instantly that my daughter would enjoy it.
I think Chris Haughton successfully taps into the toddler’s psyche. Maybe that’s what I love about it. Reading A Bit Lost together was the first thing we did when my daughter woke, and I was right. It hit the mark with my toddler. At nearly two, she doesn’t quite have the vocabulary to tell me what she loves about it, but it is fairly obvious. She has a big smile on her face as we turn each page and I can tell that the colours appeal to her as do the creatures (‘Hoots’ are a favourite) that feature in the story. She is interested in the story and it has her engaged. She reads along with the sound effects, ‘uh-oh’ and ‘bump, bump, bump’, and she interacts with the book, enthusiastically telling the squirrel that he hasn’t solved the problem.
The illustrations are cool and quite unusual for a children’s picture book. They are alive and electric, with retro colours of hot pinks, oranges and electric blues. The illustrations are simple and almost child-like, yet have a level of complexity. There are silhouettes and hidden creatures in the background, and boy do I like hidden objects in illustrations!
It’s a precious little story too about a little owl who falls out of his nest and loses his mum. A kind squirrel offers to help find her.
The little owl tells the squirrel that his mum is big and she has pointy ears and big round eyes. Each time the little owl describes his mum, the squirrel is sure he knows who the mother is. He takes the little owl to a bear, a rabbit and a frog. It’s a little silly isn’t it that the squirrel thinks a bear, a rabbit or a frog could be the mother of an owlet? But, toddlers just love silly.
The little owl is finally reunited with his mum, who invites the little owl’s new friends up to the nest for some biscuits. What a sweet ending!
The story line is simple and is made up of a limited number of words. However, it’s a highly effective story because it’s repetitive and predictive, which is wonderful for inviting interaction from the reader.
Finally, I found this post; The Making of A Bit Lost and that sealed the deal. I’m a big fan of this book.
This is a great book about mother and child. You might be interested in other books about mothers.
A Bit Lost
Author and Illustrator: Chris Haughton
Publisher: Walker Books, May 2011
RRP: $ 16.95 (aud)