Oliver's Must-Do List

( 1 )

Overview

Oliver wants his mother to play with him. But when his mother checks her must-do list posted on the refrigerator door, she discovers the morning is filled with many things to do, such as laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, and other chores. So, Oliver goes off to play by himself. A similar exchange occurs when Oliver tries again later that day. So, on the following morning, Oliver presents his mother with a must-do list of his own: tell a joke, drive a race car, build a fort, count the stars, and ...

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Overview

Oliver wants his mother to play with him. But when his mother checks her must-do list posted on the refrigerator door, she discovers the morning is filled with many things to do, such as laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, and other chores. So, Oliver goes off to play by himself. A similar exchange occurs when Oliver tries again later that day. So, on the following morning, Oliver presents his mother with a must-do list of his own: tell a joke, drive a race car, build a fort, count the stars, and find the Big Dipper. That's when Oliver's mother gets to work--and the fun begins.

Together Oliver and his mother play through their "to do" list.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Oliver is bored today. He wants someone to play with. Only his mother is around (for reasons unknown to the reader). When he asks his mother to play, she says she has chores to do. All of her chores are listed on her refrigerator. During the day he tries to entertain himself, but playing alone is no fun. Every time Oliver asks his mom to play with him, he receives the same answer—"I need to get some things done first." Finally, at the end of the day, his mother tucks him into bed and he whispers, "now?" She tells him no, maybe tomorrow. As his mother leaves his bedroom, Oliver gets an idea. He gets up early the next morning and makes his own "must-do" list. He takes his list downstairs and tapes it over his mother's list. When Oliver's mother comes downstairs, she sees his list, stops, and taps her foot. As Oliver waits in trepidation, he finally hears these words: "knock, knock." The fun begins as his mother plays with him all day, performing each task Oliver has written on his list. Illustrations show a boy and mother rhinoceros with a small terrier dog who appears in each scene with them. The warm, human features of these animals will appeal to any youngster. 2005, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 1 to 3.
—Debbie West
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Oliver, a rhino wearing a striped T-shirt, wants to play with his mother, but she has a long list of chores to do. Lonely and bored, he creates his own "Must-Do" list. His mother recognizes Oliver's need and they spend the day together. The plot is satisfying and many children will identify with Oliver and his need for a playmate. Unfortunately, the digitally rendered artwork is often cluttered and overwhelming, showing the protagonist surrounded by his many possessions. Although some of the details are charming (such as the facial expressions of the youngster's Boston terrier), more often the pictures pack in too many images for viewers to take in. The illustrations are sometimes from Oliver's point of view (for example, only showing the belt of his mother's apron) and sometimes more general, and the switch in perspective is distracting. The endpapers include a neighborhood map that does not relate to the story, adding to the confusion.-Susan Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cobwebs, dishes and shopping will wait-children will only be children for a short while. Oliver wants nothing more than for his mother to play with him. But her "Must-Do List," posted on the refrigerator, is a mile long. Oliver spends his day telling knock-knock jokes to his mirror, racing his kitchen chair car against no one, building a fort that keeps collapsing and trying to find the Big Dipper. His stuffed toys and dog echo his emotions and activities, but it is just not the same as playing with his mother. Oliver's solution is to post his own Must-Do List on top of his mother's. The best part is that they do it all, and with a flair that only a parent still in touch with their inner child can accomplish. Sullivan's adorable rhinos have wonderful facial expressions. Unfortunately, much of it gets lost in the crowded illustrations. Too much detail and too much activity leave readers without a focus. Still, a heartwarmer with a message that many a busy parent should heed. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590781982
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 788,394
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary is a free-lance illustrator, who received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. This is her first picture book. She lives in Cedar Park, Texas.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2005

    Put THIS On Your To-Do List!

    Oliver wants his mother to play with him, but her must-do list has no end. He tries to entertain himself, but the games aren¿t as much fun without a playmate. Oliver finds a clever solution and spends a special, fun-filled day doing what kids do best¿PLAYING! I immediately fell in love with Oliver. What a personality! Oliver feels like a real kid, begging for attention and desperate to get more mommy time. Oliver is a sweet, imaginative and enterprising kid who young readers will want to emulate. Kids will feel Oliver¿s pain, and parents will share in his mother¿s guilt. It seems there¿s always too much work and no time to play! After reading this book, my own children insisted that I do not play with them enough, so I challenged them to post their own must-do lists on the refrigerator. It was also an excellent opportunity to discuss chores, responsibilities¿and things we can all do around the house to help mommy have more time to play. Plus, they had some fun activities on their lists! Teachers and parents will appreciate the 12-page teaching guide available at the author¿s website. It¿s full of great classroom and at-home activities that build on the book's content and feed young minds. Also of note: a traveling Oliver promotion--Oliver can visit your book store or school! See the author's site for details OLIVER'S MUST-DO LIST is a wonderful reminder to take a break for fun time, snuggle time, wish-upon-a-star time. Be sure to clear a spot on the fridge for pint-sized must-do lists before reading this book!

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