Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

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.

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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