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Oliver Finds His Way Hardcover – August 26, 2002

19 customer reviews

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Summertime is Book Time
Make summertime book time with cheap reads for all ages.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Root (What Baby Wants) uses a minimum of text and Denise (The Fool of the World) alternates close-up portraits with panoramic view to bring a fresh poignancy to the familiar theme of a child so caught up in play that he suddenly finds himself lost and alone. On a gorgeous autumn day, while Mama and Papa tend to chores, Oliver the bear cub follows the airborne path of a big yellow leaf. In nearly cinematic views framed in a clean white border, the artist shows the cub getting farther from home. Before he knows it, Oliver is at the edge of the woods. With economic, staccato-rhythm prose ("Oliver looks for the leaf./ No leaf./ Oliver looks for the house./ No house"), Root evokes the flashes of realization that constitute a child's thought process. Denise's gold-toned charcoal and pastel pictures never distort the landscape into something frightening. The woods where Oliver finds himself may be shadowy, but glimpses of comforting blue sky show through the trees, and a squirrel and bunny who watch Oliver are far from threatening. Denise gets terrific emotional mileage from the interplay of Oliver's tiny eyes, huge head and clown-like snout; readers will have no trouble empathizing with his plight. And when Oliver figures out that he can find his way back through call-and-response roars with his parents, youngsters will cheer his noisy ingenuity, too. Ages 3-6.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Descriptive yet succinct language tells the story of a small bear who gets lost while chasing an autumn leaf. First he bursts into tears, but when he realizes that crying doesn't help, he devises a plan to get him back home to Mama and Papa and "tumble-down hugs." Denise effectively uses a red, orange, gold, and yellow palette of pastels and charcoal on paper to illustrate the seasonal story. Children see lots of white space until Oliver becomes lost. Then, the full-spread illustrations take on a darker palette to bring home the scariness of the situation. The happy ending is totally satisfying and will leave readers smiling.
Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 200L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (August 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763613835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763613839
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've never written a review before, but I had to contribute here. The illustrations are cozy and charming (Oliver runs just like a toddler!), and Oliver shows commendable initiative (teaching little ones to think things over and come up with solutions). It's also a good participatory book: When Oliver "roars" his way back to his parents, our 2-year-old learned to do the roars. This has become our family's favorite book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grace Everett on October 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely amazing. The story is a timeless one, told sparingly and with a child's viewpoint in mind. The illustrations are some of the best I've ever seen, filled with emotion that leaps off the pages.
As for J.H., who found the book dangerous: I think your sort of thinking is dangerous. Deciding a book is less worthy because it discusses a real life problem makes no sense, and is the sort of thinking that leads to censorship. Children get lost. Not reading a book about it will not keep it from happening. Use this book as a way to discuss the topic, instead.
And by the way, try keeping your kid in a cart next time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful little book that I have found very, very useful in teaching children safety. Oliver, a small bear, wonders away from his family's home and becomes lost in the woods. This is something that most kids do. I remember that well over sixty years ago I had adventures quite like that of our foolish little bear in this story. I use this work to teach children what to do and what not to do when lost. How it is not a good idea to wonder off without telling Mom or dad, and what to do when actually list. Oliver did some things right and somethings wrong. It is an excellent work which children seem to understand and relate to. As to the illustrations. The price of this book is well worth ever dime you spend just for the wonderful art work found in this work. It is truely impressive! All in all I highly recommend this one.
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Format: Paperback
I agree wholeheartedly with the 2 star reviewer who stated that this is an unsafe message for small children. Oliver runs off from his parents and instead of staying in one place until his parents find him, he runs around and gets more lost until he realizes that if he roars his parents will hear him. But the parents don't ever come to look for him, they stay put and don't try to find him and instead of coming to him when they hear him roaring, they roar back until he follows their voices back to them.

So many things wrong with that. No half-way decent parent would hang out in their backyard and just hope the kid comes back. And if they heard the kid screaming at the top of their lungs, they would run to child in case the child is not simply screaming because they are lost, but perhaps because something bad is happening. How did Oliver's parents know that he wasn't being eaten alive by a wolf or been shot to death by a hunter? And also, kids should not wander off from their parents, but if they do they shouldn't get themselves more lost by having to look for their parents. Yelling so its easier for the parents to find them is probably a good idea, but the parents should look for the child, instead of the child having to look for the parents.

This book is probably fine for an older child who knows better than to run off, and also what to do if he or she gets lost by some accident. As for a toddler who may take this story in literal sense, its probably not so good. Also, while the artwork is quite lovely, contrasting colors hold a child's attention much better and many of the colors used are dark or muted and the pictures alone are not enough to entertain a small child.
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By Lovestoread on July 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We picked this book up at the library and now we just have to own it! It is a wonderful story about a sweet little bear who while following a leaf gets lost and has to find his way home. The illustrations by Christopher Denise are so precious and my 7 1/2 year old son just loves this book because of them! We have read this book together over and over and over again. He really loves the illustrations and the story. Anything that is so gentle and that can capture the heart of a 7 1/2 year old boy has got to be magic! You can tell that Phyllis Root and Christopher Denise enjoyed putting this wonderful book together! I can't recommend this book enough! This is something that my son and I will spend many times together reading and I will hold onto this book for him so that someday when he has a son we can read it together!
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I love reading this story aloud to my daughter. The larger size of the board book, the repetition of story elements, the simplicity of the story, the gentle tone of the word choice, the detailed and colorful images, and the way Oliver solves his problem all work together to create a beautiful book that can engage my 10-month old when we read together. As we read, we want to turn the pages to see what happens next. This book is a beautiful addition to any young child's library.
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By K. Hill on March 28, 2013
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I had another copy of this book that I gave to someone at a baby shower that was a beautiful hardback book. I had expected this to be the same but maybe I missed the part that said it was a board book. It's smaller and the pictures are more dull because of it. But otherwise, I love the illustrations and the story. It's so cute and I recommend it to everyone.
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