‘All the Lost Things’ Book Review

All the Lost ThingsI love discovering new books to read to my two children. I spend quite a bit of time reading to my kiddos almost every day. In addition to the books that I check out from multiple public libraries, my children have also amassed a sizeable home book collection. Thus, I eagerly accepted the chance to review the upcoming All the Lost Things by Kelly Canby when recently offered the opportunity by Peter Pauper Press.


Born in London, England, Kelly Canby is an author and illustrator who currently resides in Perth, Western Australia. She earned a Bachelor of Art (Design & Illustration) from Curtin University, Western Australia and works predominantly as a graphic designer and an illustrator of children’s books. All the Lost Things is her debut picture book.


Published by Peter Pauper Press, All the Lost Things arrives in August 2015 at the retail price of $16.99. The title is available from Amazon and other booksellers. The price is comparable to other children’s picture books of similar length.


Recommended for readers between the ages of 4 and 8, All the Lost Things follows a little girl named Olive who goes for a walk in the city one grouchy, cranky day. When a mysterious noise from a nearby manhole piques her curiosity, Olive discovers an underground world full of boxes and boxes of lost things from around the city. She finds mundane items like keys and remote controls as well as abilities, characteristics, and qualities of mind. When the old lady in charge tells Olive to take whatever she likes, the bright little girl in an otherwise drab world brings home some gifts for her family as well as something special for the whole world. In the end, All the Lost Things is an inspirational tale about the healing power of hope.

I absolutely love the message that Canby purveys in her debut picture book. When I first started reading All the Lost Things, I assumed (wrongly) that Olive would head down the manhole and embark on some sort of exciting adventure. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the twist in the story. The message that hope, even when lost, can be found is very powerful. The language used to tell the story is appropriate for early readers between the ages of 4 and 8. My younger preschooler enjoyed hearing the book read aloud and especially liked book at the pictures. I look forward to reading All the Lost Things with both my children again and again.


The illustrations in All the Lost Things combine grayscale with color. Olive appears as a pop of color amid a black and white background. She then continues to bring color into her world, which I find extremely visually appealing. Canby expertly uses color to reinforce the message in the story. Because of the striking mixture of grayscale and color, I did find myself needing to slow down as I read the book. I can usually just jump right into a story, but the illustration style of All the Lost Things required me to take a little bit more time than usual. Overall, I consider the pictures interesting and unlike most other picture books currently available.

Final Verdict

If you are searching for a children’s book that offers a message of hope, I recommend giving All the Lost Things by Kelly Canby a read. Written for readers between the ages of 4 and 8, the story follows a little girl who takes a walk and discovers that hope is never irrevocably lost. The pictures intriguingly combine grayscale with color, and the illustration style made me slow down my reader in order to appreciate the nuances. All the Lost Things is definitely a book to read again and again.

Cover of All the Lost Things Inside Pages of All the Lost Things

For more information or to make a purchase, visit All the Lost Things on Amazon via my affiliate link.

Image Credits

All the Lost Things:
Cover of All the Lost Things © 2015 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of All the Lost Things © 2015 Heather Johnson

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