A picture book that teaches children to live in the moment, not only in the past, Finding Forget-Me-Nots is a touching tale about being yourself.
Theo is a young elephant who is very forgetful. This trait results in his family chiding him again and again: for forgetting how to play chess, the names of movie stars, and even to find lunch for himself. Theo is sad about their teasing, but he finds serenity in little things around him, like the singing of parrots and the taste of bananas.
One day, the elephants try to cross a river to reach some tasty-looking trees. While Theo’s family tries to build ships, ziplines, and other creations from memory, Theo meanders along the river noticing all the beautiful things. He comes to a bunch of forget-me-not flowers, and there finds a path across a quiet part of the water. He shows his family how to get across, and Theo is happy because of their praise.
The illustrations are expressive, lively, colorful, and a good match for the story (although adults will enjoy the playful references—such as the “Meryl Sheep” celebrity poster or the beetles posed as if crossing Abbey Road—more than children).
Theo is a sweet protagonist who is easy to root for, but the story’s flaw is that he never stands up for himself, and even when he finds the path across the river, it feels like happenstance rather than from true mindfulness.
That said, Theo has a quiet and subtle strength—feeling sad but never complaining, proving others wrong without showing off—that comes through in the story and could become a topic of discussion for precocious young readers.
The sweet elephant memorably demonstrates that you don’t have to be like everyone else to be successful, and that sometimes dwelling on the past can distract you from the present.