Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Tales of Olga Da Polga

The Tales of Olga Da Polga

Michael Bond
Illustrator:  Catherine Rayner 
For ages 8 to 10
Oxford University Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-0192731944

Olga da Polga, guinea pig extraordinaire, has finally left the pet shop and she is on her way to a new home. She soon finds herself in a very comfortable situation living with the “Sawdust” family. Mr. Sawdust has built her a very comfortable house with two rooms, and she is supplied with a plentiful supply of food. She also has an interesting variety of visitors; there is Noah the cat, Fangio the hedgehog, and Graham the tortoise, all of whom provide her with the opportunity to tell her outrageous stories about guinea pig history.

For such a small animal Olga manages to have a surprisingly large number of adventures; on one occasion she leaves her cage to explore, and she discovers that one animal’s paradise may be another animal’s hell. Then there is the time when Olga has a terrible fall and is injured. The Sawdust family wonders if their beloved Olga is every going to be able to walk again.

This hilarious set of stories about the loveable and irrepressible guinea pig, who has a very high opinion of herself, is sure to delight young readers who are fond of animals.

Catherine Rayner's black and white illustrations are funny and they perfectly capture Olga’s unique character.