Oliver's Wood

Oliver's Wood

by Sue Hendra

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Oliver the owl stays up past dawn, he learns that the moonlit and sunlit worlds are as different as, well, night and day. Oliver marvels at "the big, round, warm, orange sun," but his nocturnal friends the hedgehogs, badgers and bats sleep through everything. His only potential playmates are squirrels, rabbits and butterfliesand they are not at all talkative. Oliver feels lonely, so he takes a nap and soon resumes the late shift. Hendra turns the tables on diurnal creaturessuch as humansby presenting darkness and light as basic matters of perspective. Her curvy forest animals, painted in warm rust, gray and brown gouache against a uniform midnight- or baby-blue sky, are quiet and cuddly; the "snuffle, snuffle" of the badgers and "whizz, whizz" of the bats imply no threat whatsoever. The oversize type, simple shapes and minimal plot best serve beginning readers, and Hendra's gentle animals demystify nightfall even as she puts a sweet spin on the concept of bedtime. Ages 2-4. (July)
Children's Literature - Michelle H. Martin
Oliver, a young, animated owl, enjoys the company of his nocturnal friends, the bats, the badgers and the hedgehogs. One night, however, Oliver stays awake to see the sun come up. Instead of his usual friends, he finds lots of butterflies, squirrels and rabbits. When the sun sets once again, Oliver's friends must wake him up to play. Like Canon's Stellaluna, Oliver's Wood encourages young readers to establish positive associations with nocturnal animals and helps them to recognize differences between bats and birds. In this book, predatory animals coexist peacefully with their prey, while the comforting blue background, boldly colored illustrations, large text font and whimsical animals make it a fine bedtime story for the very young as well as an interesting challenge for beginning readers.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Oliver, an owl, is at home in the world of "the moon and the twinkly stars," "spiky hedgehogs," "stripy badgers," and "batty bats." One eventful night, he stays up late. He sees "The big, round, warm, orange sun!" and rushes off to tell his pals, but instead of hedgehogs and badgers, he finds rabbits and squirrels; instead of bats, butterflies; and instead of friends, strangers. Oliver's plight and its happy resolution will resonate with young readers, despite the fact that Hendra's minimal text has little resonance of its own. In the end, it's Hendra's gouache cartoonsboldly colored, artfully composed, expressive, and engagingthat make Oliver an owl to remember.Marcia Hupp, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY
Ilene Cooper
Oliver the owl is used to hanging out with nocturnal pals such as badgers and bats. But one day, when he wakes up while the sun is shining, Oliver finds butterflies instead of bats and rabbits instead of badgers. However, none of these daytime animals will talk to him, and it is only later that night that he can tell his nighttime friends about the wonder of seeing the sun. The story at times seems truncated, especially the ending. Better is the bold artwork, with its sturdy figures outlined in black against a background of pure blue. This can be a jumping-off point for a discussion of how the same piece of land is occupied by nocturnal and daytime creatures. For larger collections.

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Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Product dimensions:
8.83(w) x 10.93(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
3 - 4 Years

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