Finding Francois – Gus Gordon

Standard

Penguin Australia

July 2020

ISBN: 9780143794141

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $24.99

In over eighty books Gus Gordon has demonstrated time and again his talent at producing the type of quality books we love to share with our young readers.

This beautiful picture book is heart-warming and endearing as two little characters, both lonely and longing for real friendship, discover each other through the whimsical method of sending messages in a bottle.

Alice lives with her grandmother, who is the best creme brulee maker in the world, and while she loves her dearly is often lonely and wishes she had someone of her own age to play with and for a friend. Her message in a bottle washes up and is found by Francois, who lives with his father in an isolated lighthouse, also lonely and longing for companionship.

Their unusual friendship develops with the exchange of the bottled notes but when Alice’s grandmother dies, her heart feels too full to continue with the letters. When her new guardian comes across the message bottle, she encourages Alice to renew contact with Francois and the previously sea-borne friendship becomes a real one.

This is just a lovely and gentle look at friendship, loneliness and the pain of saying goodbye to someone well-loved and special which young readers will love.

I predict that like so many of Gus’ books this will be recognised as being an award-nominee, if not winner in the next short-list. In the meantime, I highly recommend it for young readers from around six years upwards.

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