- The Lost Package by Richard Ho
Trade ed. ISBN 9781250231352 $18.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R 4-7 yrs
A girl carefully seals up a box, which then gets mailed off at the post office, taken to a sorting plant, and trucked from there with other packages. Then it hits a snag, bouncing off the truck and landing in the gutter, where it's found by a boy and his inquisitive dog. He and his mother rescue the package and take it along with them; they're moving from New York to what turns out to be the package's destination city, so they bring the package to its young recipient in San Francisco and make friends in their new town. The minimal text lets the art carry a lot of the weight; while the hand-delivery story conflicts with the USPS-centered message of the first part of the book, the moral of connection is a sweet one. Fluid watercolors suggest the work of Jon J Muth (Hi, Koo!, BCCB 3/14, etc.), with homey details and creative angles even in the scenes of mail processing, and the portraits of the multiracial families and city and cross-country scenery are softly inviting. In a year when a lot of life comes to our doors in packages, this will encourage kids to think about the journey behind the boxes. An author's note about his family history with the postal service is included.