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A Finder's Magic    by Philippa Pearce & Helen Craig order for
Finder's Magic
by Philippa Pearce
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This elegantly illustrated (in black and white) chapter book (aimed at ages 7-9) tells a tale of Till, a boy in despair. Till dreams of someone who can help, and so meets a Finder, 'one of the old Seekers Finders' who tells him: 'I can help you, if you'll also help yourself.'

Till has lost 'his frisky little dog named Bess', who slipped her leash on their daily walk to the meadow. Accompanied by Finder, he heads to Gammers' Meadow to look for Bess. There Finder uses his magic to help Till ask the elder Miss Gammer (whom he fears because she looks like a witch) if she's seen Bess.

Chapter by chapter, Till's search for Bess continues, mentored by Finder and guided by his questions and wisdom. They use Bess's Mudman to communicate with a heron (who flies away), a mole (who recalls 'an intruder in the meadow'), a brindled cat (who shares a riddle), and Miss Mousy Gammer (who had sketched a mysterious scene).

But it's Till himself who (mostly) puzzles out what happened to his noisy little dog, based on his own observations - and the answer makes Finder very angry with one of the Finders Keepers before boy and dog are reunited. A Finder's Magic is a sweet and unusual story, instilled with good messages.

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