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Jean Little. Illustrated by Leoung O'Young.
Markham, ON: Viking Kestrel, 1985.
82pp., cloth, $10.95.
ISBN 0-670-80835-0. Distributed by Penguin Canada. CIP.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10

Reviewed by Janice Foster.

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

Jean Little, renowned author of books for young readers, and recent winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Mamma's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird (Penguin, 1984) adds another title to her list of a dozen books. Lost and Found is a simple story of a young girl, Lucy, who moves into a new neighbourhood. Feeling lonely and friendless, she chances upon a lost dog whom she names Trouble. Allowed to keep him until his owner is located, Lucy begins to hope that no one wants him. When she meets Nan, a girl who likes to play detective and is keen on finding Trouble's owner, Lucy wonders if she wants a new friend or to be alone with the little dog she has grown to love. When Trouble shows signs of loneliness, and Nan's best friend Barbara returns from holidays, Lucy fears she might lose both of her new-found friends.

The smooth flowing narrative and simple vocabulary make Lost and Found an appropriate first novel for the young reader. The black-and-white sketches further enhance the text. Moving into a new neighbourhood, wanting your own dog, and making new friends are all topics relevant to readers of this age. Unfortunately, humour and excitement in the story seem limited, and consequently the younger child's interest might dwindle. This book will likely have more appeal for an avid reader than for one who needs motivation.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, MB.
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