What Ollie Saw struck me as such a quirky book. Joukje Akveld brings us a young character (in the form of a pig) who has such an amazing perspective on the world around him. A perspective that… I can totally understand his teacher not appreciating…but as an homeschooler looking in… definitely can! 🙂
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What Ollie Saw, the basic details
Published by Levine Querido, What Ollie Saw is a 59 page hardcover book suitable for children 5-9 years old. Ollie is a youngster who sees the world in a creative light, not always in logical others around him do. He’s part of a standard family unit with mom, dad and older sister. Ollie’s teacher is frustrated as he answers the question according to how he sees the world rather than giving a simple direct answer. Author Joukje Akveld tells the story as if he were narrating Ollie’s thought patterns. Illustrator Sieb Posthuma does an excellent job of showing us Ollie’s perspective on the world around him. I am reviewing on behalf of Raincoast Books.
I need to tell you this… Ollie’s sister is a pessimist. And she comes across as an entitled pain in the rear. She does! She’s not a nice character. But as the narrator tells us…. this book is NOT about his sister. It’s about Ollie! Her attitude is a counter-note to Ollie’s.
This of course makes Ollie’s unique perspective stand out, shining like the sun. He’s a fun character with so much possibility.
Despite the nay-sayers in Ollie’s life, he continues to see the world from a fresh perspective. Seeing the possibilities rather than the logic of the here and now. Sieb Posthuma shows Ollie’s imagination with simple line drawings filled with colour.
Should you get it?
You know how some children are differently-abled and some children stand up well under their uniqueness? Ollie is one of those children. I can see reading this book with your differently-abled children might give them a boost of confidence.
One also gains an appreciation for the positives of a unique personality, to see the wonder and hope that such a perspective holds. And, as an adult, it helps me to reconsider what might approach with such children might be.
I can TOTALLY understand the teacher’s frustration. Ollie is so locked into how he sees the world that he fails to actually answer the question the way the teacher would like him too.
It’s one of those things I would have liked to see added to this book, the teacher starteing to understand Ollie’s perspective, or even Ollie starting to understand how to answer his teacher in a way that worked for her. But in not answering that question leaves it as a talking point between parent and child, or teachers and students. How can we help the teacher (and Ollie’s parents) se parktake in the wonder of Ollie’s imagination? How can we help Ollie learn to answer the question in a more logical manner?
Definitely a book I would buy if I were a teacher, and one that I would happily borrow from the library as a homeschool parent. What Ollie Saw … a young lad’s confident acceptance of who he is…. and it is good.