Hello, friends! Our book today is Have You Seen Gordon? by Adam Jay Epstein and Ruth Chan, a hilariously clever twist on seek-and-find books.
Have you seen Gordon? You’d think a bright purple tapir wouldn’t be tough to find, but in a crowd of creatures of all shapes, sizes, and species, it can be tricky. Unless, of course, Gordon decides that he doesn’t want to hide – in fact, he wants to stand out. This fourth wall-breaking declaration throws the book’s narrator for a loop, and they are left fumbling with how to continue a seek-and-find book with a irrepressibly fabulous and flamboyant main character.
A perfect mix of humor and heart. Epstein’s witty take on seek-and-finds – particularly the dialogue between the narrator and the characters – is immediately enjoyable for readers of all ages. What’s truly impressive is how it also explores the idea of agency and individualism: by the end of the book, both the narrator and reader have been shown that the characters in the crowd scenes should be treated with respect as individuals with their own personalities, preferences, and life stories. It’s a surprising turn that frames the entire book in a different light, and had us eager to go back and explore every inch of the intricately illustrated spreads to see all the details we had missed (which Chan even uses to introduce some lovely moments of comedy and inclusivity). The length is perfect for a storytime, but these charming crowd scenes make the book endlessly explorable as readers begin to imagine each background character’s story. JJ and I absolutely loved it; she was giggling up a storm by the midpoint. A perfectly constructed story that entertains as it enlightens, and we were blown away. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)