Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ordinary Oscar

Ordinary Oscar

Laura Adkins
Illustrator:  Sam Hearn 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tiger Tales, 2010   ISBN: 978-1589250857

Oscar Slimeglider is a snail who has a very ordinary life. Like all the other snails, he sleeps during the day and eats all night. He is “bored with being greenish-grayish-brownish.” More than anything Oscar wants to be special, he wants to be noticeable and different.

Oscar’s parents cannot understand Oscar’s attitude. Their other children are perfectly happy with their lives, and they think that Oscar is being foolish. Despite this, Oscar is determined to change his life, so he goes to visit the Wise Old Snail. The Wise Old Snail warns Oscar that being famous isn’t always easy, but if Oscar is certain that this is what he wants he should ask the Fairy Godsnail to help him.

The Fairy Godsnail is willing to help Oscar, and she gives him three wishes. Immediately, Oscar wishes for his appearance to change; he wants to look like a dazzling famous snail. His wish comes true, and Oscar is delighted, until he discovers that looking sensational is not all that wonderful after all.

Many of us wish for a glamorous life, thinking that such a life will make us happy. Of course, fame does not guarantee happiness, which is what Oscar learns in this charming story. In his own way, he discovers that true greatness does not depend on one looking fabulous or being famous.

With its amusing snail-centric illustrations and its meaningful story, this picture book is sure to charm young readers.