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Rolie Polie Olie
     

Rolie Polie Olie

5.0 4
by William Joyce
 

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Way up high in the Rolie Polie Sky
is a little round planet
of a really swell guy...

Rolie Polie Olie lives on a fantastic planet of blue skies and friendly robots, where every day is a surprise and literally everything comes to life. Harking back to the happy cartoon shorts of the 1930s, it's a world where machines act like people and where Mom and Dad

Overview

Way up high in the Rolie Polie Sky
is a little round planet
of a really swell guy...

Rolie Polie Olie lives on a fantastic planet of blue skies and friendly robots, where every day is a surprise and literally everything comes to life. Harking back to the happy cartoon shorts of the 1930s, it's a world where machines act like people and where Mom and Dad seem to know all the answers. The whole mechanical Rolie Polie family Ping-Pongs around their smiley teapot house, playing and having fun from morning to noon to night. In Rolie Polie Olie land, it's one for all and all for one, little sister Zowie worships her big brother, and ever-loyal Spot is a pal to the end of time. And when things go wrong and all seems lost, a rumba dance can make everything okey dokey once again.

Olie is the hero of Disney's hit TV show Rolie Polie Olie, which Entertainment Weekly called “the best new children's show” on television this year. Hollywood Reporter said: “Little else on television can match the sheer enchantment of Rolie Polie Olie.” This is Olie's introduction into the world of children's books, where he can stand side by side with his creator's other award-winning and best-selling classics, Dinosaur Bob, George Shrinks, Bently & egg, Santa Calls, and The Leaf Men.

Author Biography: William Joyce, author-artist of Rolie Polie Olie lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, with his lovely wife, Elizabeth, and their children, Jack and Mary Katherine. They also have a dachshund named Rose. Here Mr.Joyce talks about his collection of children's books, his influences in creating them, and even the Rolie Polie family!

Q:What's new and different about Rolie Polie Olie?
A: Everything in Rolie Polie Olie is a robot or a machine. Beds, cars, kitchen appliances, and even the toilet have a personality. But rather than it seeming cold and remote, as computer animation can often feel, I wanted to see if we could make a robot world that felt warm and kind; an almost old-fashioned version of what the future could be. I wanted to take the cutting edge of cybertechnology and create something that felt as though it was done in the 1930s. It's sort of like Leave It to Beaver meets The Matrixx or Blade Runner.

Q: How does the Emmy Award-winning animated TV show Rolie Polie Olie relate to the book?
A: I had been working on a book about robots when I was approached to do a computer-animated television series. Previously, I had worked on Toy Story, which was an amazing experience, so I decided to merge my robot paintings with the computer — to paint with the computer.

I had never collaborated on anything visual before, but with the help of 300 artists and technicians on 3 different continents, I was able to realize this vision. I was able to create an entire 3-D robot universe without ever leaving my desk in Shreveport, Louisiana. My sketches, stories, and songs traveled from my home to Toronto, Paris, and Ho Chi Minh City. I would design every antenna, tree, and doorknob, and the computer would then render my drawings. We didn't know if it would work, but here we are with an Emmy Award-winning television show on the Disney channel and two beautiful picture books.

Q: What was your inspiration for Rolie Polie Olie?
A: The Rolie Polie family is a caricature of my own family, even down to the family dog!

I wanted to evoke the blithe, optimistic feeling of an old Mickey Mouse cartoon or The Little Rascals. Some kind of "Once upon a time" Americana in the robot world, or a "future that never was." The Polie family harks back to what we all wanted as kids; everything is uncomplicated and magically naive. This is a bright and shiny sun-drenched world, moving and swaying to its own catchy oom-pa-pa beat. Everything is round, everything is alive, everyone does the rumba dance.

Q: In your latest picture book, Snowie Rolie, you bring a winter wonderland to Robot Land. Tell us about your new character, Mr. Snowie.
A: I thought that it would be great if a snowman could really come to life . . . and on this robot planet where everything is living, naturally a snowman would have to be alive too!

When you make a snowman, you put so much effort and personality into something that is going to melt. It is a very poignant process, for no matter what you do, soon you will still have to let go and say good-bye. In Snowie Rolie, I wanted to actually save a snowman.

Q: What is the theme of Snowie Rolie?
A: Snowie Rolie is about how your life can change in a single day. Olie and Zowie wish for snow in the beginning of the book, but in the end they have gained a friend. They have learned so much about friendship and farewells, all in the course of one miraculous, snowy day.

Q: Now another one of your classic picture books, George Shrinks, has a new animated TV series on PBS. Where did the idea for George come from?
A: Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved stories about people who were the wrong size. King Kong was too big for everything, and Stuart Little was way too small. One day I found some of my old toys in a box. Mixed up with all the dinosaurs and army men was a little airplane that had a tiny pilot, and that got me thinking.

What if a boy named George shrank one day while his parents were away? What would he do? Would it be fun? Would it be scary? What would he eat?

So that's what I made George Shrinks about — how neat it would be if, just for one day, you were the same size as your toys. And of course I had George fly in that toy airplane.

Q: What influences you as an artist and author?
A: I'm a first-generation TV brat. My brain was welded to the solid-state circuitry of our RCA Viewmaster black-and-white television set. Every day and night I saw all the past, present, and future pulp the tube had to offer. Plus there were comic strips, my family, and other illustrators.

George Shrinks is King Kong in reverse. Nicholas Cricket is Casablanca with bugs. In The Leaf Men and Bently & egg the characters are as dashing and heroic as Robin Hood. In Santa Calls there are elements of The Wizard of Oz, Davy Crockett, The Lone Ranger, Rin-Tin-Tin, Little Orphan Annie, Jules Verne, and the Warner Brothers cartoons. For Dinosaur Bob I thought about Paul Bunyan and Casey at the Bat. Not only does a dinosaur become the family pet, but he also plays baseball and the trumpet, and dances the hokey-pokey. A Day With Wilbur Robinson is a combination of Dr. Doolittle, The Absent-Minded Professor, Invaders from Mars, and an exaggerated version of my own childhood.

Q: How does your childhood show up in your picture books?
A: I was raised by a congenial horde of southern screwballs. We had artists, bongo players, photographers, opera singers, actors, and geologists in our family. Everyone over fifty had dentures, which were always being mixed up or misplaced. We sometimes played shuffleboard with them. My grandfather had the added bonus of a glass eye that he swore could see even when outside his head. I had an uncle who convinced me he was from another planet. With a household like that, writing and illustrating came easily to me.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Joyce diverges from the hyperbolic, pleasurably bizarre imagery he created for The Leaf Men and Dinosaur Bob in this digitally enhanced but uneventful picture book. Rolie Polie Olie is a robotic child living in a "land of curves and curls," where most objects are rounded and smooth (although the rooms of Olie's teapot-shaped house have corners). Olie himself is comprised of a round yellow head with the circular black eyes of a smiley face. On his spherical torso, he wears red shorts whose dual buttons recall Mickey Mouse's signature pants, and he stands on pliable metallic limbs that resemble pay-phone cords. In this day-in-the-life story, "Rolie Polie Olie/ rolled out of bed./ Brushed his teeth./ Recharged his head." After a breakfast of "Rolie O's," Olie and his parents, sister and dog perform a morning ritual: "The Rolie Polie Rumba Dance/ was always done in underpants!" Olie then helps the family with chores, plays ball (of course), gets in a tiff with his sister, apologizes and goes to bed forgiven. Joyce makes use of round "O"s in his rhymes and liberally applies "Rolie" as an adjective ("Yes, okey dokey is the day/ when all you Rolie did was play"). Thanks to computer manipulation, his plasticine paintings offer crisp edges, flawless high-tech color and a seeming three-dimensionality. Olie's shiny surface doesn't make up for his lack of a personality, but the character practically steps out of the frames, advertising his potential as a toy or animated image. Ages 2-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Fans of the television series will welcome this tangible introduction to Rolie Polie Olie's world. PW said that the 3-D hero "practically steps out of the frames." Ages 2-5. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A refreshing approach in children's books, this amazing story and its equally amazing pictures are fun, quirky and a bit off the wall. Rolie Polie, a little round robot guy, lives with his family on a round planet. Everything is round, you see, and the story takes us through Rolie Polie's day. The rhyming text is fun to say out loud and hear due to its comic and repetitious verses. The computer-generated characters are sure to become classics. In fact, they have already been made into a cartoon series for the Disney channel. Rolie Polie acts just like a normal kid, but in not so normal surroundings. Very appealing and now available in board book form! 2003 (orig. 1999), HarperCollins, Ages 2 to 6.
— Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060271640
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Rolie Polie Olie Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

William Joyce does a lot of stuff but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Numberlys, Rolie Polie Olie, Dinosaur Bob, George Shrinks, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana. Talk to William Joyce and look at upcoming work at @HeyBillJoyce on Twitter and Instagram.

William Joyce does a lot of stuff but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Numberlys, Rolie Polie Olie, Dinosaur Bob, George Shrinks, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also his Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana. Talk to William Joyce and look at upcoming work at @HeyBillJoyce on Twitter and Instagram.

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Rolie Polie Olie 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sister is an elementary school teacher and introduced this book to my two year old daughter after telling me how much her second graders liked it. I rolled my eyes and thought, 'this book is going to be way over a two year old's head.' Was I ever wrong! She sat still with rapt attention and within three weeks of hearing this every night at bedtime, she is now able to recite the book word for word as she goes through each page. If you didn't know better, you would think she was actually able to read the words! She will even quote sections of the book while riding in the car. If you can find copies of this book anymore, I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old who both LOVE this book. We can not read it once, we have to read it at least 3 times. You can't make a better choice if your children are Olie fans. Ours is so tattered from reading it over and over, I definately got my money's worth and more from this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have a two year old nephew who can not get enough of this book. He even does a little dance (after I showed him a rumba dance). He'll run around saying Olie until he finds the book and wants it read over and over. Not that anyone minds- even the adults love it as much as he does. He's such a great character that he puts me in a great mood. The show introduces one or two additional great characters. And you can not beat the art work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rolie Polie Olie is the best childrens book of al time! He and Zoie, his sister and their dog Spot have many wonderful adventures. The song that is sung in the begining is in there and, well, it's just the best book ever! E-mail me to know more about the book and other great childrens books!!!!!!!!!!!! Candy3821@aol.com P.S.- I am a 13 year old female who really likes childerns books. They are all very cute and funny. I also read chapter books so don't think that I'm an older kid who has the mind of a child!