It’s not often a book comes along that is so full of wholesome, all-ages fun that you feel refreshed and inspired just by reading it, but If Found…Please Return to Elise Gravel is that book. Reproduced from the author’s grid-paper notebook doodles, this 2016 graphic novel from Québécoise illustrator Elise Gravel — The Cranky Ballerina, I Want a Monster! — received an English-language edition from Drawn + Quarterly this summer.
If Found…Please Return to Elise Gravel brings absolute joy with its narrative-less “story.” Some spreads reveal huge images of novel crossbreeds — fox-rabbit-guinea pig, anyone? — Gravel has found in her garden. Other pages feature collections of tiny illustrations, including jellyfish who speak Italian, or a variety of grumpy items and animals. Even staring at those crotchety critters, it’s difficult to maintain a crabby, or even apathetic, mood while reading Gravel’s graphic notebook.
Younger readers and pre-readers will get as much out of this graphic novel as older children and adults. If Found…Please Return to Elise Gravel is full of vibrant, but simple, illustrations that call to mind folktales and hipster stationery. Gravel’s is the kind of book that fond childhood memories are made of: a bright, cozy read that anyone will enjoy.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.
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Image credit: Pedro Lozano