Review Blog

Jan 19 2010

Red Ted and the lost things by Michael Rosen and Joel Stewart.

cover image

Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781406310375.
(Ages 4-8) Recommended. In graphic novel format, this story about a lost toy is sure to be a winner with young children. Red Ted has been left on a train by Stevie, the little girl who loves him. He is taken to the railway's lost property department and placed high on a shelf next to a dispirited Crocodile, who has been there so long that he can no longer remember who his owner was. Determined to get home, Red Ted flings himself off the shelf, and together with Crocodile sets off on an adventure to find his owner. On the way they meets a cat who loves cheese and who helps them on their quest.
The graphic novel format works really well in this tale of a courageous bear. I loved how the plot develops through the use of conversation and thought bubbles, with an occasional piece of text in a box. Young children will also delight in repeating the little rhyme about the cat:
"I'm a cat
And I do
As I please,
I'm a cat
And I love cheese!"
Joel Stewart's illustrations are humorous and poignant. The background is in muted browns, and contrasts with the red of Red Ted and the green Crocodile. There are many interesting details to keep an observer engrossed on many rereads, especially in the drawings of the lost property department and the train station.
Although the intrepid Red Ted has some setbacks on the way home, he and his friends display great courage when facing a storm and great big dog. With the help of his friends, he finds that persistence and teamwork pay off and all three eventually find their home. A warm, funny story that children will relate to, Red Ted and the lost things shows children the advantages of problem solving and working with others.
Pat Pledger

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