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Oliver by Birgitta Sif
Published by Candlewick Press
Pages: 40
Ages: 0 to 20 years
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository
Publishers Summary:

Oliver is different. He enjoys his solitude. He likes playing with his friends, who are puppets, stuffed animals, and other toys. With his rich imagination, Oliver’s day is never dull. There are bridges to cross, sharks to fight, and treasures to find! But maybe toys don’t always give a boy everything he needs. Maybe he needs another kind of companion. Will Oliver discover a way to be, well, different? When his tennis ball rolls across the lawn into the yard of the girl next door, he just might be surprised.
An imaginative child who doesn’t quite fit in finds a kindred spirit in this utterly charming picture book from a debut author-illustrator.

Turkeybird Speaks: Oliver is super neat. I think if he was for real I would have lots of fun playing with him. He would probably really like my pretend classroom and all of my stuffed toys that listen to me while I teach. I really really liked Oliver’s puppet show too! I’m going to try that soon with Littlebug. I was really happy that Oliver found a friend to play with in the end. My little sister is my bestest friend right now and I have a couple of friends at school, but lots of the time I like to play by myself like Oliver. I think both are really fun.

Mom’s Two Cents: Oliver lives in a world of his own, surrounded by friends of his own making and adventures to be discovered each and every day. Stuffed animals and toys go everywhere with him, to the pool, in the car and through the jungle. One day he sets off on another adventure and finds there may be more in the world to experience than ever before, a real friend who loves him for who he is.

It’s hard to explain how much I love Oliver by Birgitta Sif. When I first saw the cover it instantly reminded me of Turkeybird. Not that Turkeybird was or has been very imaginative, but that I could see that same solitude in Oliver’s eyes. Neither Oliver or Turkeybird are unhappy being in their own space, experiencing the world through their own lens, but instead enjoy the world the create for themselves. It was this incredible world and the expressive eyes of Oliver that instantly connected me with this fantastic book. Birgitta Sif’s illustrations are phenomenal, in that they are simple pencil drawings that show a vast expanse of emotion and texture. Honestly, if a book could be snuggled in a warm blanket and carried everywhere you go, I would do that with Oliver by Birgitta Sif.

As I continued through the book the similarities between the two continued even through to the end when Oliver finally discovers a real friend, Olivia. It’s as if a whole new world opens, it’s not that it changes, but now they have someone to share their little quirks with. For Oliver it’s Olivia and for Turkeybird it was his sister Littlebug and now that he’s in school things only continue to expand as he discovers new friends. This could easily be a book for children who feel different or separate from everyone else, but it could also be a great tool for autistic children. Like Turkeybird, who has a mild case of autism, sometimes they only need a gentle nudge to help them step out into something new such as a friendship.

Oliver by Birgitta Sif is a profound picture book about friendship, self-discovery, imagination and most importantly knowing that’s it’s okay to be a little different because you’re never alone. Through the gorgeous illustrations of Birgitta Sif Oliver’s story comes to life and as a reader you simply cannot help falling in love. For our family, particularly the Turkeybird, Oliver was a perfect way to open a conversation about the value of finding and keeping good friends. Oliver by Birgitta Sif will no doubt tug at your heartstrings and I’m certain that I will be picking up anything and everything that comes out from this new talented author/illustrator in the future.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 2 and up. One for young and old. Filled with beautiful illustrations and his expressive eyes Oliver will teach readers about individuality, friendship and stepping outside of our comfort zone to discover something potentially incredible.

Take a look at this fantastic video from the author/illustrator herself, and then try to resist buying this book:

Find Oliver by Birgitta Sif at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and on Facebook!
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9 Responses to Book Review: Oliver by Birgitta Sif

  1. Beth Hoffman says:

    I adore the illustrations, and the story sounds wonderful!

  2. Rhythm says:

    This looks like a really cute book. Oliver seems to be an interesting young man and the illustrations look awesome. Thanks for sharing this one. I’ll be looking for it!

  3. Oh wow. Sounds great. And I love the connection you and TB have with it.

  4. PragmaticMom says:

    Love the illustrations too and how wonderful that Turkeybird is able to self-entertain himself! That is a great life skill!

  5. PragmaticMom says:

    Love the illustrations too and how wonderful that Turkeybird is able to entertain himself! That is a great life skill!

  6. Gina says:

    Sounds like a fabulous read guys…my first time hearing of it too! ^_^

  7. What a fantastic book…and what a wonderful new author/illustrator! I might not have found this wonderful book without this review..Thank You!

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