Oliver and Jumpy #16-18 – Werner Stejskal

OJ-WOliver is a tuxedo cat wearing a white top hat. Jumpy is one of his Kangaroo friends. These children’s stories are told from the first person narration of Oliver, and describe his different adventures.

I read all three of the stories in this installment with my three year old daughter. She is very inquisitive and so she asked a lot of questions as we went along. (She gets this from me, for I constantly ask questions about why, what, and how.)

#16 Who Am I? – Oliver is hit on the head with a coconut and doesn’t remember who or what he is. Walking through his forest home, he tries to reconcile the facts with the information others tell him. My daughter did not understand how anyone could forget who they are, as she isn’t old enough to understand amnesia or what might cause it. She seemed to find this story very confusing. It reminded me a little bit of Are You My Mother?, where the baby bird falls from its nest and asks various creatures if they are its mother. Oliver talks to chickens, squirrels, and crocodiles trying to discover who he is.

#17 Up the Tree – Oliver decides to climb to the top of the tallest tree in the forest, a project that takes him an entire day to complete. Along the way, he meets many forest animals and learns where they live. Close to the top live tree gnomes, who celebrate their visitor with music. Finally, Oliver makes it to the top, a tremendous project well worth the view, showing children that difficult tasks are worth the reward.

#18 Moon Crystal – Oliver and Jumpy ride a spaceship to the Moon to collect much needed moon crystals that are used to heal people on Earth. He is sent there by the president (who is drawn like Abe Lincoln). In these modern times, space adventures are expected by our children, and this one also teaches a little science in describing that the Moon’s gravity is less than on Earth. I paused when the spaceship was launched by being thrown by a giant and wondered how they were going to get back from the Moon. This question was answered later. My daughter liked the moon-men drawings, but didn’t understand the Man in the Moon because she’d never heard that phrase before. She thought he should look like the other moon-men.

Overall, the book is a good one for children. The cartoonish artwork is vibrantly colored and attractive to the eyes. The book is wonderfully formatted for Kindle, something that is difficult to find with self-published children’s books. (Often the illustration isn’t on the same page with the accompanying text, or there are issues with orphaned words.) The file automatically demanded to be read landscape for the full effect of each page so you don’t miss a detail of the drawings or have the text appear to small to read. These formatting details enhanced the enjoyment of the digital version.

4 StarsOther than the amnesia story, my daughter enjoyed reading these and wanted to read them again. She’s excited to see that I have another installment loaded on my Kindle. The illustrations are very colorful and fun for children.

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