Tuesday 14 October 2014

Oliver and George

Oliver and George written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas (New Frontier Publishing)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781925059083
Reviewed By Rose Davies

The two main characters of this very simply illustrated book are extremely cute. There is young Oliver, who always manages to be wearing at least one roller skate as well as fancy dress, and there’s the gorgeous chubby, rather intellectual looking George, a huge teddy bear. George has a small ‘pince nez’ on his nose and always seems to be reading!

Oliver wants attention. He wants to play, but George is too engrossed in his reading. Whatever ways George chooses to try and distract George does not work. Oliver throws a paper plane at George, he pushes him and breaks the stool George is sitting on, but George reads on, totally absorbed in his book. Oliver even tips porridge on George.  That does not even work for Oliver to distract George and he does not even get mad.

Oliver tries a new tactic. Oliver pulls George’s ears, he tickles George’s nose with a feather, still nothing happens, so he snatches George’s book from him and scoots off.

Suddenly he is hit on the head with a paper plane, and then there is an almighty ROAR from George. Oliver apologises for making George mad. Suddenly the tide turns.  Now George is ready to play but the book Oliver snatched away seems extremely interesting to Oliver now. “Shall we play now?” asks George. “Okay”, “In a minute” replies Oliver, as he walks away with his nose in a book.

This is a cheerful storyline with an unexpected ending. Not only is the story a good read, perhaps subtly it also shows early readers and pre-readers that books can be really exciting and interesting.

Writing now for over six years Peter Carnavas is an established author/ illustrator, with his first book Jessica’s Box shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and with this book he won the Speech Pathology Book of the Year in 2008. Peter also received the Notable book award by the CBCA and was shortlisted for the Crichton Award.  When Peter is not writing he is teaching, reading books with his daughters, drawing and trying to play the mandolin.

Rose Davies is an established non-fiction author of environment and nature books for adults. She also writes freelance for several publications, runs a consultancy business focussed on community nature and environment education. She has been writing reviews for a variety of publications for over 25 years. 

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