Pawcasso, by Remi Lai
Pawcasso is a heartwarming graphic novel about the bond between humans and animals, loneliness and belonging, new friendships and family dynamics, art and ice-cream!
It's school holidays and Jo is bored and lonely. When she sees Pawcasso trotting by her house with a shopping basket she decides to follow him. She stumbles across a group of kids from school who are engaged in a holiday art class, and they mistake Jo for Pawcasso's owner. Pawcasso becomes their model for art class and everybody falls in love with him. It very quickly becomes too late for Jo to admit that she isn't, in fact, Pawcasso's owner.
Will she find a way to tell the truth without losing her new friendships?
Mr 7 and I loved the humour injected into this story as Jo finds herself in some awkward predicaments as things start to spiral out of control. We also loved the way the story gently unfolds, and the expressive vibrant illustrations, which build upon and enhance the narrative.
There is much to discuss around issues raised in this book - including missing an absent parent and the anger and sadness this may instigate, finding the courage to tell the truth, and kindness. There are also frequent references to artists and art techniques which may be of interest to young creatives.
Pawcasso was selected as one of our top three graphic novels for 2021 as part of the Aussie Bookstagang - Best of 2021 selections (please see my Instagram page for more details).
Highly recommended for your 8+ reader.
Published by Allen & Unwin