Finding You, masterfully written by Robert Vescio and exquisitely illustrated by Hannah Sommerville is a heartfelt, tender story about new beginnings and how these often involve courage and being open to possibilities. It’s a story about the beauty in the unexpected, the journey of friendship, unbreakable bonds that form between people and pets as well as being compassionate to the vulnerable members in our community.
This story starts through the eyes of a young boy who resides in a bustling, concrete suburb, devoid of any green space. He is living in the moment, observing and noticing his surrounds. In the distance a dog catches his eye. So begins a connection between the boy and dog. They leave the confines of the drab suburb and together venture into fields of colour, weave their way through grand old trees and carpeted forest floors. The joy between them is palpable as they experience the awe and wonder in nature and man-made structures. The joy is doubled because they are experiencing this together. Their sense of adventure coupled with a big dose of imagination sees the ordinary become extraordinary. Their sense of wonder and affinity for nature results in all kinds of wonderful discoveries.
Like all magical days, they come to an end. Is this the end of something special between the boy and dog? Decisions have to be made. Should the dog join the boy or not? The reader will sit with bated breath in anticipation of the dog’s decision and consider what this means for the boy and the dog.
Robert Vescio uses few words to convey such an emotional and sensory journey. Hannah Sommerville’s illustrations add yet another layer to this already lyrical multi layered text. The colour palette mirrors the ups and downs in a new friendship, the light and the dark, the sheer joy as well as the doubts and confusion. The details included in the illustrations are breathtaking and you can’t help but feel the magic that exudes from the boy and dog.
This book is one we have read over and over and each time a glorious new detail is revealed in the illustrations and a new fascinating conversation is had; whether it be about helping animals, looking out for others that may need a friend and being that friend to someone (be it a person or animal). Conversations about acceptance and being open to possibilities. Unforgettable friendships can be found and blossom in the most unlikely of places and when you least expect them. These friendships can be the greatest gift that bring an abundance of joy and memories to be treasured for a lifetime.