Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ollie the Elephant

Ollie the Elephant

Burney Bos
Illustrator:  Hans de Beer 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
NorthSouth, 2012   ISBN: 978-0735840751

It is Ollie the elephant’s birthday and though he likes the presents he was given, what he really wants is a baby brother. His mother explains that “you don’t get little children for your birthday,” and she suggests that he pretends that his new doll is his baby brother. Ollie does not like this idea much, so he puts on his roller skates and she sets off to find a baby brother of his own.

When he meets Mrs. Stork, Ollie asks her if she will give him one of her chicks. When she explains that she loves all her children, Ollie asks if she will lift him up to her nest so that he can look for a baby brother. It is only when he is on the nest, far above the ground, that Ollie comprehends that looking for someone from such a height really does not work for him.

Ollie next meets Mr. Stag and he asks if he can join Mr. Stag’s family. Mr. Stag tells Ollie that an elephant simply won’t fit in with a deer family. A frog is quite happy for Ollie to join her family in the pond, but Ollie soon figures out that sitting on the bottom of a pond really isn’t “the right place” for a little elephant.

When it starts to get dark, little Ollie realizes that finding a little brother is only one of his problems. Now he needs to find his way home and he has no idea where home is.

This Tuff books title, with his charming main character, will resonate with children who, more than anything, want a sibling to play with. The adventures Ollie has are sweetly funny, and children will find it impossible not to at least smile at the situations the elephant gets into, the things he does, and the outfits he wears.

Tuff books titles are made small books with reinforced laminated pages and heavy duty covers, which makes them a perfect fit for little children.