Can You Help Me Find Me?
by Catherine Mathis
Trafford Publishing

"Okay, Okay I can finally see that the girl I lost is inside of me."

Like the famous ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil, who predicts extended winters with the glimpse of his shadow and early springs without it, Mathis;s book conquers the puzzling quandary of shadows for an inquisitive child. Here at a bus stop with her Mom, a little girl suddenly recognizes a shaded image on the ground. She questions its disappearance, then spends the day wondering about her missing duplicate. As she looks to a policeman for help in finding what she perceives to be her lost self, he quickly confirms her presence. Ultimately her classmate proves able to solve and explain the riddle of a shadow's appearance and disappearance, with reference to the shining sun.

Dwight Nacaytuna's colorful illustrations lend a complimentary visual to the action of Mathis' story. Dark curly hair and a bright red dress worn by the central character bring to mind "Little Lulu," the popular comic strip of the 1950s. But this is the tale of a more modern era highlighting a cityscape complete with buses, traffic signs, fast food advertisements, and a discount sale at the mall. Beyond conversational dialogue, the book also makes use of speech bubbles where pictures convey thoughts. Mathis makes use of a rhyming sentence pattern that adds to the flow and beat of the narrative. Such stylings often help hold a child's interest and add to their enjoyment of reading.

Youngsters who are just beginning to explore the sights and sounds of the world around them should find this book entertaining. While the science behind light and shadow might be difficult for a child to comprehend, Mathis makes the idea easily accessible via a fun story showcasing a simple discovery.

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