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The Picture Book Buzz

Oliver's Tree - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I fell in love with this darling book the moment I saw it at the bookstore. The cover snagged me immediately and the story captured my heart. Who hasn't had a moment of frustration trying to keep up with older siblings, friends, or colleagues? Just when you're ready to give up, friends come to the rescue. This would be a touching gift for any friend struggling to make life work.

Oliver's Tree

Author/Illustrator: Kit Chase

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group (2017)

Ages: 3 to 5



Friendship, sharing, problem solving, persistence, and creative play

Synopsis (From Barnes & Noble):

Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in.

But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Opening Lines:

Once there were three friends.

They loved to play outside.

"Ready or not, here I come!" said Oliver.

Oliver spotted Lulu. He jumped and jumped.

But he couldn't reach her.

Why I like this book:

Perfect page turns - this one in particular uses that quintessential "Until . . . " and the kids will easily be able to guess the outcome from the fun illustration. After all, why don't we see elephants in trees?

I love the creative caring of Oliver's friends, Lulu ( a bird) and Charlie (a rabbit). The friends "bring the mountain to Muhammad." Persistence, compassion, and a bit of ingenuity can work wonders. They create a way for all of them to enjoy playing in a tree.

With a tender ending, that avoids being preachy and touching watercolor illustrations this sweet story is a treasure, As has been the case lately, this debut book was released in both Board Book and Picture Book formats simultaneously.

Kirkus gave it a stared review and said that with "warmth and gentle humor, this deceptively simple story demonstrates the power of friendship, the importance of working together and problem-solving, while simultaneously introducing basic concepts (high/low, tall/short) in a pleasing, organic way.

Her second book, Lulu's Party, comes out in August 2017.

Related Activities:

- play a game of hide and seek. Can you create a way for someone with difficulty to participate? (such as blind, wheelchair, crutches . . .)

- Build a special fort with friends in the yard, with a box, or with blankets.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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