Oliver & Jumpy, Stories 37-39: Rescue in the Picture, Wet Cat and Down River, by Werner Stejskal ISBN 9781625175960
Three out of three stars
Oliver is a cat that looks a lot like Tom the cat in the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon series and Jumpy is a kangaroo that looks a lot like a fox. They are the best of friends, engaging in a wide variety of adventures together and this book contains three of them.
In the first one Oliver engages in a trip by painting a picture of a sandy beach in a place in the tropics and then entering it. Jumpy and the young kangaroo Joey accompany him. At first they enjoy themselves, but they find a collection of girls wearing grass skirts and dancing around another that is tied to a tree. By making loud noises, they scare the dancers away and free the girl. The four of them climb aboard a boat and then bow their heads in supplication to the spirit of the painting, an act that whisks them back to Oliver’s living room.
The second adventure also takes place in the tropics, where Oliver, Jumpy, Joey and some human children take a boat ride to an island. Unseen by the others, Oliver falls off the boat and finds it difficult to swim. Fortunately, a school of dolphins is nearby and they give him a ride back to the boat. Oliver is very grateful and the story ends with a thank you and an admonition to the reader to learn how to swim.
The final story has Oliver, Jumpy and Joey taking a boat ride down a fast moving river and accidently going over a waterfall. When a large crocodile tries to eat them Oliver stuffs a stick into its mouth so that it cannot close it. The stick lasts long enough for the three of them to make it to shore and relative safety.
However, the safety is illusory as a tiger comes along and it wants to make a meal out of them Fortunately, Jumpy uses his boxing skills to punch the tiger, dissuading it. Their adventure ends with the three of them taking a flight to a castle on a flying dinosaur.
While these tales are good, they are not very good. They lack a great deal of continuity and the dialog often comes across as stiff. One feature that I really disliked was that the text appeared in captions at the bottom of the pages and in the second and third stories there were sections where the text was white on a light blue background. This made it very hard to read, a mistake that I consider to be very serious and inexcusable.
This book was made available for free for review purposes