Serendipity and positive thinking come into play as a family searches for a missing puzzle piece in Bob Graham’s enchanting story with a sweet surprise ending.
“Oh, let’s do it!” say Kitty and Katy and Mum when a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle mysteriously arrives in the post. “I have time on my hands,” agrees Dad. Starting in winter with the edges, by autumn they’re almost done, only to discover that one piece is missing. Mum is sure that it must have accidentally gone out with the rubbish, so the Kellys pile into the car to comb through the local tip (“shouldn’t take long”). There they uncover forgotten letters, train tickets, discarded newspapers, and old photos yellow with age, but finding the missing piece is starting to seem like wishful thinking. “Let’s wish, then,” says Katy. As in all of Bob Graham’s work, the beauty here is in the details, with visual perspectives that offer a bird’s-eye view or take us underfoot, wordless sequences letting us in on a secret. Is it sheer luck – or perhaps the power of hope – that creates an ending to the story?
This book radiates love and family, hope and determination which will warm the hearts of younger readers who will view their own families with the same care and attention. Graham infuses his characters with a universal humanity. Mum, Dad, the children and the dog could be any of us. His families are always inspiring as they work together on a problem, promoting hope, radiating love and a togetherness we all aspire to emulate.
A story of the unquenchable hope and optimism and faith of young children.
The Bottom Shelf
With his characteristic quiet humour and understanding, Bob Graham has given his fans another treasure.
Bob Graham’s latest picture book is yet another superb example of masterful storytelling. With his signature style of softly outlined, colourful illustrations, and underlying themes of family and community, JIGSAW: A PUZZLE IN THE POST is in an uplifting tale of hope, togetherness, and perseverance, and of always being found no matter how lost you think you might be.
The Book Tree
I really like how Bob Graham leaves some things unsaid or unknown, for both characters and readers. By writing in unknowns, it allows the reader to ponder and wonder about the possibilities and likely generate speculative discussions about the story. It might also feed the magical notion of coincidences, chance encounters and serendipitous events in readers’ own lives.