Wendell and Floyd wait outside the principal's office, lamenting their bad luck when the new student, Mona comes in looking for the Lost and Found. She's missing her lucky hat. As Mona looks through the Lost and Found, she gets lost in the giant box. Wendell and Floyd soon follow, looking for her. They soon discover that the Lost and Found is much bigger than they had ever imagined.
This is a fun picturebook that gives a magical dimension to a concept that already contains some mystery. I enjoyed this light fantasy.
I do have a slight problem with the cover though. To me, it doesn't really represent the fantasy aspect of the book. Now I know hundred of hats spilling out of a room should seem a little unusual, but the cover as it is didn't hold my attention long enough for me to decipher the details of it. Honestly, I assumed this book was going to have something to do with the Native American experience, since at first glance, the headdress was the only hat I actually noticed.
While published years before JK Rowling ever mentioned a room of requirement in the Harry Potter series, as Wendell, Floyd and Mona discover rooms devoted to lost items, I was strongly reminded of Hogwarts. So, way to be ahead of the curve, Mark Teague.
If a teacher ever held a special costume or funny hat day, The Lost and Found could definitely be a featured read aloud. If a teacher were desperate to draw out some lesson, they could focus on the illustrations of some of the ancient objects pictured in the Lost and Found or the different cultures and times some of the different hats come from. A teacher could also try to use this book to get students to narrate about their own lucky objects or describe how they feel if they've ever been lost.
With younger students, a teacher could also use this book to trigger a conversation on the intended use of a lost and found box.
Quotes of Note:
"Wendell and Floyd were in trouble. That morning a giant squid had trapped them in the boys' restroom for almost an hour, causing them to miss a math test. Their teacher, Ms. Gernsblatt, had been furious."
"Wendell pointed to a bin marked LOST AND FOUND. "I wish I had a lucky hat."
"So do I," Floyd agreed. "Then maybe we wouldn't get into these crazy situations."
"Don't be silly," Wendell told him. "How can you get lost in the Lost and Found."