Clarion Books, Library Binding, 9780547060064, 32pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
A very different kind of baby is left on the doorstep of a kindly country couple.
Mrs. Oliver's dreams have come true when her husband finds a tiny baby on the doorstep of their farmhouse. He looks like any other newbornwell, except for the fur, the tail, the pointy teeth, and the horns. But to Mrs. Oliver, he is beautiful. Olly begins to grow at an alarming rate, and in just three days he's big enough for kindergarten. He makes friends with the children at school, but his size keeps getting him in trouble . . . until he realizes all the things it allows him to do. After graduating from college two weeks after coming to live with the Olivers, Olly is adopted by his new parents. Even better, someone newand equally unusualmoves into the farm down the road.
Doug Cushman is a veteran mystery writer for children and the illustrator of more than 100 picture books. Among his many popular books are the seven Holiday Mice books, written by Bethany Roberts. He lives in Northern California and Paris.
Bundled in a blue blanket on the Olivers’ doorstep, orphaned baby Olly resembles any other newborn, except for the fur, the tail, the pointy teeth, and the purple horns.’ His foster parents bypass his makeshift lemon-crate cradle for a wheelbarrow to suit his rapidly growing hulky frame. Olly’s skills progress accordingly; within one month, he learns to walk and to read and graduates from the local university. Comparable to a tame Bigfoot, this towering tyke meets an unusual friend of elephantine proportions with fortuitous results. With his lavender horns, gap-fanged smile and fluffy golden mane, Olly’s more lovable than formidable; he blows the wind for children’s kites and serves as a living waterslide for afternoons of play. Cushman’s varying perspectives provide effortless amusement as the pint-sized Olivers relate to their monstrous toddler. Soft watercolor spreads suit this small town, though the abundant white space occasionally provides a stark effect. While there is little conflict in this slight story, lively images provide a sizable read-aloud, starring one huggable critter, extra-large.”Kirkus Reviews