Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: If Found … Please Return to Elise Gravel

Publish June 6, 2017

If Found … Please Return to Elise Gravel offers the voyeuristic thrill of peeking inside the sketchbook of an award-winning author and illustrator. Elise Gravel’s penchant for creating offbeat, kooky characters is on colourful display. Readers meet such idiosyncratic critters as Amadeus, a googly-eyed, potato-shaped monster with a prominent underbite, who can count to four; Rick and Rox, the redheaded chicken pox; and insatiable Albert, a big-bellied beast with an ill-fitting toupee, who swallows a bicycle, potted plant and top hat. Adding to the fun are conversational, handwritten notes that provide personal profiles of these imaginary friends: “Floofs are like bunnies, but they wear boots. And bite. Really hard!”

Elise Gravel also serves up sage advice to aspiring illustrators. Her basic tenets are: “Enormous amounts of practice”; “Don’t be afraid about making mistakes!”; and, most importantly, ‘have fun’. If the sight of a blank page strikes fear into the heart, Gravel gives encouragement and proffers a list of “Things You can Draw in Your Book”, including: “Funny Clothes”, “Stinky Stuff”, and “The Coolest Toy Store Ever.” This fascinating, quirky and liberating glimpse into the creative process will inspire budding artists and daydreaming doodlers alike.

If Found … Please Return to Elise Gravel

Elise Gravel
Illustration EN: Elise Gravel
Drawn and Quarterly
ISBN 13: 978-1-77046-278-6

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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