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Oscar Seeks a Friend

By (author) Pawel Pawlak
Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Genres: Picture books
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Lantana Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Published: 26th Sep 2019
Dimensions: w 150mm h 150mm d 20mm
Weight: 334g
ISBN-10: 191137379X
ISBN-13: 9781911373797
Barcode No: 9781911373797
Synopsis
What if you could turn the world the other way around and take a peek at what's on the other side? Perhaps you'll find something you never expected. Such as friendship. The sad little skeleton on the cover of this book might not look very promising, but when Oscar meets a lonely little girl, it's the start of an adventure for both of them. Together they make an unusual journey to two very different worlds, each beautiful and necessary. And it all begins when the little girl's tooth falls out . . . -- "Journal"

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Oscar the skeleton is missing a tooth, and he's cruelly self-conscious about his looks and prospects ('It's hard for a small, ugly skeleton to make friends'). A pigtail-wearing human girl who's burying a tooth to help her dream come true offers it to Oscar if he'll help her find a friend. She shows him the beautiful places in her world ('She said she'd like to take her friend to a meadow and show them a rainbow'), and he reciprocates, bringing her to a dreamy flower-filled underworld of skeletons who ride velocipedes and browse library shelves. Pawlak's paper collage characters fairly jump from the page, with expressive, engaging eyes and details worth returning to. Though the girl never indicates that Oscar is the friend she's wished for, she promises to return, and Oscar gives the tooth back, having found that a new smile wasn't needed for friendship or self-worth, after all.--Publishers Weekly

-- "Journal" Friends often appear when they are most needed and least expected. Oscar the skeleton wishes for nothing more than a friend, but he knows that with a missing tooth, his appearance is likely to be off-putting to anyone who does not know him. One day, he sees a young girl burying a tooth in the ground, and he approaches her. Both Oscar and the little girl need the tooth she is burying, but for different reasons: Oscar needs it to complete his smile, while the little girl needs it to make a wish. However, what they both truly desire is to find a friend. Together, the two set out in search of one, discovering something unexpected along the way. Three-dimensional paper collage is used to create the eye-catching illustrations in this book. Though the pages are smooth, they appear to be textured because of this unique illustrative technique. The skeleton's resemblance both to Di a de los Muertos characters and those in The Nightmare Before Christmas fit this book squarely into the realm of Halloween, though the story itself is unrelated. Written in the first person, Oscar tells his story directly to readers. Pages of descriptive narrative are separated by wordless spreads that progress the story in ways that words cannot. VERDICT This is a delightfully unique and heartwarming story about friendship that is excellent for any library serving young children.--School Library Journal


-- "Journal" https: //www.slj.com/?detailStory=zombies-and-skeletons-and-vampires-oh-my-halloween-picture-books
Zombies and Skeletons and Vampires, Oh My! 10 Picks for Elementary Readers

Friends often appear when they are most needed and least expected. Oscar the skeleton wishes for nothing more than a friend, but he knows that with a missing tooth, his appearance is likely to be off-putting to anyone who does not know him. One day, he sees a young girl burying a tooth in the ground, and he approaches her. Both Oscar and the little girl need the tooth she is burying, but for different reasons: Oscar needs it to complete his smile, while the little girl needs it to make a wish. However, what they both truly desire is to find a friend. Together, the two set out in search of one, discovering something unexpected along the way. Three-dimensional paper collage is used to create the eye-catching illustrations in this book. Though the pages are smooth, they appear to be textured because of this unique illustrative technique. The skeleton's resemblance both to Dia de los Muertos characters and those in The Nightmare Before Christmas fit this book squarely into the realm of Halloween, though the story itself is unrelated. Since the book is written in the first person, Oscar tells his story directly to readers. Pages of descriptive narrative are separated by wordless spreads that progress the story in ways that words cannot. VERDICT This is a delightfully unique and heartwarming story about friendship that is excellent for any library serving young children.--School Library Journal

-- "Journal" 'It's hard for a small, ugly skeleton to make friends.' Skeleton Oscar is sad when he loses a tooth--he looks 'so dreadful' without it--but at least he has his skeleton dog, Tag, to play with. One day, he sees a little girl burying a tooth; she seems to be a possible friend. When she sees Oscar's missing tooth, she laughs out loud and offers him the tooth she is about to bury. A moment later, she takes him by the hand, and their adventure begins. The minimal text lets the collaged pictures tell the story. Oscar and the girl look at a rainbow and smell the scent of wet grass and visit her house, where they meet her ma. They also frolic at the seaside and share their biggest secrets. Oscar takes her by the hand to return the favor. He takes her to his favorite places: the park and the library and up a tree to look for sleeping butterflies. Readers will note that the backgrounds of her world are vivid and bright, while his are black with hints of brown and warm reds. Both are richly textured and fanciful, the gutter serving as permeable demarcation between worlds. At day's end, Oscar gives her back the tooth; what he's found is much more valuable. Color and composition combine to beautifully express friendship and the wonders of the world.--starred, Kirkus Reviews

-- "Journal"