Monday, January 6, 2014

Picture Book Monday with a review of Oliver

As an only child I spent a lot of my time playing alone. I was content to play make believe with my dolls and stuffed animals, and to have adventures with them outdoors. I was lucky though because there were many children to play with in the village where I lived. I could walk to their houses, which I often did. In today's book you will meet a boy who is similarly self-sufficient, but who does not have any friends.

OliverOliver
Birgitta Sif
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick Press, 2013, 978-0-7636-6247-9
Oliver felt that he was different, but he did not mind because we had his books and his toy friends to keep him company. Oliver’s active imagination, fed by things he read about in books, meant that he could ride camels across the desert, fight sharks, and travel to the other side of the world. He was content in his solitude.
   There were times though when Oliver’s toy friends were not really able to participate in what he wanted to do. They could not swim at the pool for example. Then there were those times when Oliver’s imagination was a little tired and at such times he felt particularly alone because he was. At such times his toys were just toys.
   One day Oliver went outside to play tennis against the wall of his house and his ball bounced away. He never imagined, as he ran after it, that his greatest adventure of all was just about to begin.
   There are times when being alone is just what one needs, but then there are also times when solitude loses its attraction and one longs for companionship. This book beautifully captures one little’s boy’s adventures as he realizes that something is missing in his life.


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