Sunday, November 03, 2013

Meet Olive!

Olive And The Big Secret. Tor Freeman. 2012. Candlewick Press.  32 pages. [Source: Library]

Molly told Olive a secret. "You mustn't tell anyone," said Molly. "I will never tell," said Olive. So now Olive had a secret. Olive knew she should keep the secret to herself. She knew she shouldn't tell anyone. But...

I really loved Olive and the Big Secret. Olive may just be a new favorite character of mine. I think it is something--at least--that Olive didn't tell the first person she saw, or even the second person she saw. But the third friend she saw--Joe--well, she just couldn't contain it one minute more! I like how the book follows multiple characters, and how all of Olive's friends "struggle" with keeping this secret--with any secret. I did notice that Olive's friends aren't shown showing any restraint at all in telling. (At least Olive didn't tell Jessie and Ziggy). I also liked it that not everyone who heard the secret cared enough to pass it on!

I would definitely recommend this one! I love the text and the illustrations.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

Olive and the Bad Mood. Tor Freeman. 2013. Candlewick Press. 32 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

Olive was in a bad mood. This was not a good day. "Hello, Olive!" said Molly. "Do you want to play dinosaurs with me?" "No," said Olive. "Dinosaurs are for babies."
"They are not!" said Molly. 

Olive is back for a second adventure in Olive and the Bad Mood. In both Olive and the Big Secret and Olive and the Bad Mood, readers need to pay attention to the end papers, for the story starts before the text. I liked seeing Olive again. I liked seeing Olive's friends again! If Olive and The Big Secret is about SPREADING secrets, Olive and the Bad Mood is ALL about spreading grumpiness. Olive's bad mood is definitely contagious! Every friend she meets catches her sourness. What can cure her sourness? How about some sweet, sweet candy?! When Olive passes the candy store, well, she buys something: a bag of giant jelly worms. With the very first bite, it seems, Olive's bad mood has disappeared. The text reads, "What a lovely sunny day! Look at that pretty green bush! Look at those sweet little butterflies!" Now that Olive is happy again, can she do something about her friends?

I really LOVED Olive and the Bad Mood. I think it's a story adults and children can both relate to! I want more Olive books!!!

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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