Perdu is a little dog with a red scarf round his neck. He is lost. Searching for someone to befriend him he journeys from the country into the city, only to meet with hostility, anger and rejection. He even loses his scarf. Lost and alone, what will happen to him?
This is a gentle, lyrical story which captures the sense of loneliness for someone without a home, emphasising subtly the importance of belonging, of a relationship. Richard Jones’ narrative is straightforward, taking the reader with Perdu as he travels across the double page spreads moving from one environment to another. The images also take us on a journey, a visual journey from the bleak darkness of the opening spread, through the city streets to the final scene where we see Perdu found at last and looking forward to the dawn. Throughout there are recurring images – the lone leaf that is also on a journey; the little girl whose red pompom hat echoes the red scarf Perdu wears. These are clues that extend and enrich. Jones uses a soft textured palette to combine with satisfying solid shapes that effectively convey emotion and atmosphere set within a spacious design. My only reservation – the use of a blue font against the stormy background of the opening spread – but this is a picture book to recommend.