Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Some Things I've Lost

Publish November 17, 2015

“Where there’s an end, there’s a beginning. Things grow. Things change.” So begins Some Things I’ve Lost by Cybèle Young, the author of numerous children’s books including The Queens Shadow, Nancy Knows, and Ten Birds, which won her the Governor General’s award for illustration in 2011. Young’s artwork in Some Things I’ve Lost consists entirely of her photographed Japanese paper sculptures and she sculpts everyday lost objects, like keys and umbrellas, and invites kids to consider what becomes of them. Young’s text seems slight on the vast white space of a foldout page. She lists only three things: a figure number, the object lost, and a short statement of where it was last seen. These concise, concrete summaries appear opposite a small image of the lost object, centered on the page. Such vast white space suggests the potential for much more, and Young delivers, once kids unfold the page, her sculptures deconstruct and undergo a gradual metamorphosis. The surprising new creations share commonalities with the original lost object, and, what’s more, the inanimate lost objects are given life. For example, a visor, last seen on the front lawn by the lemonade stand, is now a plant-like creature, while mom’s glasses, last seen on her head, becomes an elaborate fish-like creature. Some Things I’ve Lost is an intricate picture book that explores change and new beginnings. It mimics and stimulates the imagination, and is sure to rejuvenate and inspire readers of all ages.

Some Things I've Lost

Cybèle Young
Groundwood Books
ISBN 13: 978-1-55498-339-1

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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