Sophie Blackall illustrates a selection of missed connections from Craigslist in Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found. For all of the hopeless romantics out there, this book is for you!
For those of you not familiar with the website, Missed Connections is a forum where people can post the details of a meeting that almost happened, but for some reason, did not. Many people who post on Missed Connections are convinced that the person they seek (be it a one time encounter or a daily meeting on the subway) is their soul mate. They are reaching out on the internet in hopes that they can right this wrong and meet the loves of their lives.
For those of you not familiar with Sophie Blackall, she is a prolific children’s book illustrator. I became aware of her work through osmosis after weeks and weeks of shelving her books. She has also illustrated book covers, including When You Reach Me, one of my favorite juvenile books from the last couple of years. When I looked at her illustrations, and always had this thought in the back of my mind: “these are so wonderful, and quirky. I bet she’s a wonderful, quirky person.”
I was delighted to find that my suspicions about the illustrator were correct. Reading the introduction to this book gives a lot of insight into her character: “I pick up anything handwritten and crumpled. I eavesdrop shamelessly on buses. I’m a gleaner, always on the lookout for material.” Blackall explains her introduction to the concept of Missed Connections, and explains that the phenomenon is not a new one even if the website is a recent invention.
The book is a delight to read. It feels like reading those handwritten, crumpled notes that Blackall is fond of collecting. They are essentially snippets from other people’s lives and although they may not make complete sense to us, the underlying sentiment always shines through. Blackall does an amazing job with the illustrations, managing to show a sweet side to the posts that may seem a bit creepy at first glance.
To top it all off, a few of the scenarios take place in a library. It makes me wonder how many of our patrons experience a missed connection while browsing the stacks.
Recommendation: 5 out of 5 lupines.
Have you ever had a missed connection? Feel free to share about it in the comments!