Parents can be forgiven for wondering what it is that appeals about William Joyce's Ping-Pong-headed space hero, Rolie Polie Olie. But read about him and his family to any child under five, and there's no doubting that the attraction of the Rolie Polie Planet is powerful. In this rhyming bedtime adventure, Olie waits for a goodnight story from Pappy (grandpa), but Pappy turns up late and befuddled after a nasty bonk on the head. Olie saves the day by creating a sort of funny ray. (The adult but not the child will be irritated at the inconsistencies here: in one illustration Olie is filling a bucket with tricks and treats, and in the next this has inexplicably become a bubble-gun; equally inexplicably, it's described as a ray-gun.) "Then Olie burst into the room / and with his ray dispelled the gloom. 'I made a Pappy pick-me-up / to help old Pappy ungrow up.'" Shakespeare it isn't, but small kids are better than we are at empathizing with characters whose very souls seem to be made from Ping-Pong balls too. They love it! (Ages 3 to 5) --Richard Farr
From Publishers Weekly
In Sleepy Time Olie by William Joyce, the robot boy waits for Pappy to tuck him into bed. But when Pappy hits his head the man "comes in/ all unwound" and bound for bed himself. Quickly, Olie conjures up a cure that has the once-unhappy Pappy floating in a bubble of fun.
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