Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Review - Ollie and Augustus

Ollie and Augustus
by Gabriel Evans
Date: 2020
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

In a sweet story full of visual humor, first-day-of-school worries take on a new weight when Ollie’s best (and furriest) friend must stay at home.

Ollie was small — like a pickling jar or a shoe box.
Augustus was big — like a fridge or a table.

Ollie and his dog, Augustus, do almost everything together: painting, riding bikes, digging (Ollie’s favorite), and collecting sticks (Augustus’s favorite). So as Ollie is getting ready to start school, he’s a little worried. Won’t Augustus be lonely during the day? Ollie has just the idea: a sign that reads Wanted: Friend for Augustus. But good friends, as it turns out, are hard to find. Luckily, Ollie and Augustus aren’t just any kind of friends — they’re best friends, and nothing will ever change that. Endearingly illustrated with scratch-scratchy appeal, this is a tale for animal lovers and new school-goers alike.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Ollie and Augustus is the story of a pet who gets left behind when his owner goes to school. It's a story I've seen done before... and better. Still, it's not without its charm.

Ollie is a small boy. Augustus is a huge dog. When Ollie has to start school, he worries that Augustus will be lonely. So he puts out an ad for a new friend for Augustus. Unfortunately, all the dogs who answer the ad are... well, dogs. And nobody can replace Ollie in Augustus's mind.

Jean Reidy's Truman tells a very similar story about a child going to school and leaving their pet behind. I think I preferred that one a bit more. While Ollie and Augustus is slightly more reassuring to kids who are worried about their pets, I almost felt like it went a bit too far. Ollie spends the day worrying, while Augustus has a fun day playing and relaxing without even seeming to realize his boy is gone. (Is anybody going to tell the poor kid that he doesn't need to give himself an ulcer worrying about his dog?)

The illustrations are kind of cute. I have no idea why Augustus is the size of a small car, but it kind of adds to the quirkiness of the book.

Overall, this is an okay story. It would be good for kids who are worried about leaving their pets behind when they go to school. I might pair it with Truman for a bit of extra reassurance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment