Oscar Seeks a Friend

Oscar Seeks a Friend
Pawel Pawlak
Lantana Publishing

How is a self-confessed ugly looking skeleton to make friends, especially so since he’s lost a front tooth? At least it doesn’t deter his skeleton dog Tag from playing with him.

One day he comes upon a little girl who is burying a tooth in the ground and asks her if perhaps she might give him the tooth.

Her response is that she needs it to help her dreams come true but then she changes her mind, gives him the tooth and taking his hand leads him away on an adventure.

Together, the two visit a meadow, smell the scent of wet grass, visit her home and see a rainbow.

Then they enjoy a seaside romp …

and share their secrets and dreams.

Oscar in return takes the girl’s hand and leads her to some of the places he likes best: the park, the library

and a leafy tree among whose branches butterflies sleep.

The story ends with the girl expressing hope that the two will meet the following day and the skeleton narrator handing back the girl’s tooth, safe in the knowledge that a friendship has been forged.

In contrast to the bright backgrounds of the girl’s world, those of the skeleton are predominantly black with occasional details in reds, pinks and orange. I’d love to have seen Pawel Pawlek’s original 3D paper collage art for this book; it must have been truly magnificent. Instead I and other readers will have to be satisfied with the richly textured, cleverly composed digital renderings in this unusual picture book with friendship at its heart.