Finn and Puss, Robert Vescio (author), Melissa Mackie (illus.), EK Books, 2017.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who, as a child, wished to find a homeless puppy or a wandering kitten just outside their doorstep. But for those children like me, this book is a sound reminder of moral practice in a similar situation.

The beautifully simple storytelling format makes the premise of this book clear; good deeds end in reward. In Finn and PussRobert Vescio has used minimal wording with short and sharp language, but like his other books he is able to encapsulate the appropriate sense of mood and emotive qualities. Melissa Mackie complements this clarity and emotion with her clean and soft illustrations and pared back colour palette of reds, blues and greys.

The story of Finn and Puss is accessible and universal to all readers of any age, cultural or social background. It is of deserving friendship and having integrity, all wrapped in a tender and heartwarming tale. It tells of a young, lonely boy who meets a lost cat in his neighbourhood. Naturally, young Finn is immediately drawn to Puss’s affections and wants to keep her. When he notices a ‘Lost’ sign, Finn is sad at the thought of giving Puss up. He does, however, return the cat to her home, and what he receives in return is a sense of pride, and someone new to love.

Finn and Puss provides its early childhood audience constructive guidance with the ‘lost pet’ scenario, but also allows them to reflect on other situations where they may need to make difficult decisions and ‘do the right thing’. It effectively deals with simple emotions that children under five can relate to, as well as challenging them to feel compassion, understand the possible perspectives of others, and display a sense of responsibility. Like me, this book is sure to win your affections, too!

Review by Romi Sharp.

More information, teaching notes and the book trailer for Finn and Puss can be found at the EK Books website.


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