Thursday, 26 September 2013

Omar the Strongman

Omar the Strongman by Gregory Rogers (Scholastic Press)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-436-8
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Omar is the odd jobs man at Circus La Fleur. He is very busy - there is always plenty to do in a circus - and happy. His favourite job is looking after Mavis the elephant, a good friend. But Omar starts to wonder what it would be like to be in the spotlight. Then one day, by accident, he discovers he does have a special talent of his own after all.

Omar the Strongman is full of fabulous circus characters: Ringmaster Rosie; Cobber and Clonkers the clowns; and of course Mavis the elephant. With pencil and watercolour in pastel colours, Rogers has created delightfully warm illustrations, full of life and emotion. One look at the picture of Omar sitting among the empty seats, his magnificent moustache spread across the seat tops and a sorrowful expression in his eyes and you can imagine his feelings.

With only a small amount of text, so much is conveyed through well chosen words and soft illustrations. Omar the Strongman is a story about discovering hidden strengths - a gentle story with a powerful message.

Heart-warming, humorous and encouraging, this is a beautiful book for all children to enjoy.

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