Boy Proof: Cecil Castellucci
Reading and More Reading

Ollie the Stomper: Olivier Dunrea

Ollie the Stomper is a follow-up to Olivier Dunrea's Gossie and Gertie series for baby/preschool readers. Ollie is the younger brother to the older goslings. And like younger brothers everywhere, he follows the bigger kids around. You see, "Gossie wears bright red boots" and "Gertie wears bright blue boots."

Ollie stomps around after them, wanting boots, too, as the bigger kids have adventures (very gentle adventures, like jumping over a puddle, or hiding in a pumpkin patch). Finally Ollie takes a stand, standing up on an overturned bucket and demanding: "I want boots!" Gossie and Gertie each give him a boot, though he learns that boots may not be as desirable as he had previously expected.

This story is a natural as a board book edition. Each page has a short, five or six word sentence and a self-contained picture. For much of the book, Ollie is on the left-hand page, while Gossie and Gertie are on the right-hand page, with parallel actions and word choices (Ollie stomps, Gossie and Gertie romp, for example). The pictures of Ollie are priceless. Even though his face is mostly beak, Dunrea is able to convey a range of emotions through Ollie's body language, eyes, and spiky feathers.

This book is sure to please preschoolers who like to stomp, tromp, and romp, and jump over puddles. And who doesn't love goslings? The board book edition will stand up to the many retellings that are likely to be requested.

Book: Ollie the Stomper
Author: Olivier Dunrea
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Original Publication Date: April 2007 (for board book edition, originally published in 2003)
Pages: 16
Age Range: Baby/pre-school
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.