Lost for Words

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The opening lines of ‘Lost for Words’, “Tapir had some pencils and a nice new notebook. But he didn’t know what to write”, leads the reader into a quiet, reassuring narrative exploring individuality, discovery and creative expression. During the search for a word, Tapir becomes frustrated when he watches his friends write with ease, a poem, a story and a beautiful song. However, as the narrative unfolds, Tapir discovers his own way to express himself.

This narrative encouraged an exploration into varying styles and genres of creative writing and composition i.e. poetry and song writing. Experiments were made with rhyme, rhythm and simple musical scores to ‘tune’ the individual voices of the characters. Although the imagery remained similar to the other books in the series, an alternative aesthetic was developed to illustrate the naive drawn forms of the protagonist.

Since the book’s release in January 2014, it has been published in Korea by Kids M Project Research Institute, Thailand by Plan Kids Co. Ltd, and by Peachtree Publishers in USA who has gifted a large number of books to ‘Ferst Readers’ – a non-profit child literacy program in Carroll County (USA).

Selected prints from ‘Lost for Words’ were showcased in the Picture Hooks Exhibition in the Scottish National Galleries, Edinburgh (Nov 13 - Feb 14) that attracted over 95,000 visitors.

Lost for Words became runner up in the 2015 Scottish Children’s Book Award (SCBA - Bookbug readers (3-7) category). As part of the award process Lost for Words was included in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family pack (along with the two other shortlisted titles) which was given to 60,000 Primary 1 school children across Scotland, 1,000 of which were translated into Gaelic.

On Boxing Day 2017, Lost for Words was featured on CBeebies Bedtime Stories and was read by well-known actor Emily Watson.

“Emily says: “It was such a joy to be part of the CBeebies Bedtime Stories to bring these three wonderful, imaginative books to life. I hope you enjoy the tales as much as I enjoyed reading them. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and of course, a good night...” BBC Media Centre. (Online) Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/redmayne-watson-cbeebies. (Accessed 6th March 2018)
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMacmillan Children's Books
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)978-0-230-71219-5, 9781447242352
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014


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