Oliver

Oliver

by Judith Rossell
     
 

"How do planes fly?"

"How does our fridge work?"

"Can I breathe underwater like a fish?"

Oliver is a curious explorer, so he asks a lot of questions.

Then, one day in the bathtub, he hears a strange gurgle. "What lives down the drain?" he wonders. Soon Oliver is headed down the drain in his homemade submarine on a spectacular mission. But will this clever

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Overview

"How do planes fly?"

"How does our fridge work?"

"Can I breathe underwater like a fish?"

Oliver is a curious explorer, so he asks a lot of questions.

Then, one day in the bathtub, he hears a strange gurgle. "What lives down the drain?" he wonders. Soon Oliver is headed down the drain in his homemade submarine on a spectacular mission. But will this clever inventor be able to discover a way back?

In this imaginative and funny adventure story, Judith Rossell introduces a lovable little hero whose curiosity leads him to extraordinary places.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rossell (Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman) offers a neat story about possibility and impossibility, freedom and constraints starring a boy named Oliver who is full of questions. “How do planes stay up in the sky?” he asks his mother. “Could a penguin live in our fridge?” “What lives down the drain?” Even though Mom is never shown on page, the sometimes- frazzled nature of their loving relationship is apparent—she answers one of Oliver’s questions “with her mouth full of clothespins,” and when Oliver complains that he’s not tired at naptime, Mom replies, “I am.... You do something quiet.” Oliver makes a cardboard box submarine and investigates what’s down the bathtub drain, arriving in the ocean where he meets a cruise ship filled with penguins on vacation. Life with the penguins is a blast (“We stay up all night,” says one, and they use jet packs to fly), but eventually Oliver is ready to return home. Elements of real life (broccoli, cardboard, drawing paper) work their way into Oliver’s fantasies in Rossell’s mixed-media artwork, emphasizing Oliver’s imagination and boundless curiosity at work. Ages 3�7. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Oliver is curious about everything, from how the refrigerator works to what he digs up outside. While in the bath, he thinks that perhaps there is a hungry monster gurgling down in the drain. He determines to find out. Having constructed a cardboard "submarine," he goes down, around, up, and down again, ending his drain travels near a large ship filled with penguins. They invite him on board, gurgling as they sip multicolored drinks through straws. They offer to let him zoom with them in their jet packs. Despite the fun, Oliver thinks his mother may miss him. With the help of the penguins he zooms back in time for dinner. Building his own jet pack is the next fantasy for this imaginative youngster. Created in cartoon-y simplicity, many of the illustrations appear childishly drawn. Our hero is introduced on the jacket/cover happily flapping a pair of homemade wings attached with tape. On the back, he examines the bandage on his arm next to his crashed wings. It is fun to share Oliver's fantasy. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Oliver asks many questions: How do planes stay up in the sky; can penguins live in our fridge? And he especially wants to know what is down the tub drain—he can hear something gurgling. So Oliver makes a cardboard submarine and dives down the drain. There he finds a large ship filled with vacationing penguins who slurp their drinks and fly around whenever they want. Wait—penguins can't fly—funless, of course, they have jet packs. Oliver's imaginary adventures finally take him back home where he decides to build a jet pack. The comical pictures, done in ink, watercolor, and pastels, enhance this amusing story of a young boy with a gift for imaginary escape and unquenchable curiosity. Oliver is a quirky but charming little handful. He is also inquisitive and a role model for children who have lost enthusiasm for learning and who have sleepy imaginations. This picture book would be a great addition to most collections, and it would pair well with other titles that stimulate curiosity, such as Michael Hall's Perfect Square (HarperCollins, 2011), Peter Brown's The Curious Garden (Little, Brown, 2009), or Alice McLarren's Roxaboxen (HarperCollins, 1991).—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Union, Washington & Waldoboro, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Young Oliver goes down the drain, literally… maybe. Oliver is a curious soul. He has questions for his mother. If penguins were on vacation, for instance, would they come to stay in his refrigerator? And what, pray tell, lives down the drain and gurgles? "I think it's HUNGRY," Oliver suggests. Then he suggests that they feed a banana to whatever it is. "I'm going to poke it down the drain." Mother: "No, you're not." So Oliver builds a submarine and takes it for a ride to see just what the drain is harboring. Here Oliver turns into a kid's drawing, though handsomely rendered, as is Rossell's whole book, in watercolor and pencil, with a touch of collage elsewhere; maybe this is all in his head? And what's down the drain? Penguins, of course. Rossell handles the pacing beautifully, with each new character stage-managed to perfection. The characters themselves are utterly winning. They don't play to the audience but go about their business with comedic insouciance. And the story does a nice, full circle--when the penguins enter the picture, it's like having W.C. Fields arrive at your house--though in such a merry, leisurely way it feels serendipitous. Next time your child asks to shove a banana down the drain, go for it. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062022103
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
637,121
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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