Oliver and Jumpy: Stories 34-36, by Werner Stejsal
Five out of five stars
Oliver is a tomcat that likes to dress very elegantly, he is fond of wearing a white top hat. Jumpy is a kangaroo that is his best friend and companion on most of Oliver’s adventures.
The first story is called “How I Found My Top Hat” and is a lesson on having desires, working to achieve those desires, being disappointed and then having the wish granted. From the moment he saw the white top hat in the store window, Oliver wanted it. Lacking the funds to purchase it, he found a job helping to deliver milk and saved his money. Unfortunately, when he had enough the hat was sold, but in the end Oliver was able to acquire it.
The second story has Oliver working at a circus, doing many of the dangerous jobs such as walking a tightrope, jumping through a fire hoop and being shot out of a cannon. There is no underlying message in this story.
The third story opens with a storm leading to a shipwreck. A tiara meant for King Xylon’s future bride was part of the cargo and Oliver was asked by the President to dive into the ocean and recover the tiara. Jumpy assists in this adventure and while underwater they are attacked by a giant octopus and aided by a group of mermaids. One interesting feature of this section is that when the mermaids are seen from the front they are wearing a bikini top. However, when they are viewed from the back and side they are obviously topless. No big deal, just curious why it was done that way.
These are simple adventures that are within the usual bounds of the imagination of the young child. When I was young we regularly staged a “circus” and went on imaginary adventures sailing the mighty seas.
The illustrations are very colorful and attractive, the colors are intense and there is a lot of fine detail. Young readers will spend some time looking them over and picking out specific details. The text associated with each image appears at the bottom so it is easy for the eyes of the reader to move between them.
This is an attractive book of basic stories, the first includes a life lesson while the last two are just adventures.
This book was made available for free for review purposes