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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Don't Get Lost by Paul Ledford, with illustrations by Dariya Kohk, is a children's educational picture book that carries the main theme of children doing what children always seem to do—running off. Ledford begins the story with a family returning home from a vacation in Bali and Bangkok. They are in a crowded airport with plenty to overstimulate and distract a child, which is exactly what happens after the little boy in the family runs off while one of his mothers is using the bathroom. Initially, the child seems too pre-occupied with the sights and sounds around him to realize he's lost. When he finally does, he becomes frightened and doesn't know what to do or where to look.
Don't Get Lost is a great children's book for several different reasons. First and foremost, the book features diversity and variety melded together on every single page. This is done primarily under the skilled hand of an illustrator who is somehow able to make people of many different races and religions somehow appear homogeneous with the use of limited color on background characters. The distinction of these characters is not lost, accomplishing this with a blend of colors that accentuate clothing and a feeling of uniformity without taking away their unique characteristics. We are all the same even when we are all different, and there is no better place to apply this than in an airport, with a boy who has a bit more melanin than his two mothers. The gravy on this is, of course, the story of a little boy who gets lost. He is helped by a stranger (which I also love) and ultimately declares he will not run off again (sure, right). I would recommend this book for children who have people that care about them enough to want them to live in the world that Paul Ledford is working hard to contribute positively to through this work.