OLGA AND THE SMELLY THING FROM NOWHERE -- a hilarious and colorful chapter book for readers who love making discoveries and meeting new friends
Olga And The Smelly Thing From Nowhere by Elise Gravel (2017, HarperCollins; 176 pages)
This advance copy got in my hands a few weeks ago and as soon as I opened the book I fell in love with Olga. Olga adores animals, and doesn't adore people so much. She loves to take notes on life around her, and she is going to give the reader the opportunity to peer into her “observation notebook.” She will introduce us to Rita, her best friend, a spider who lives under the bathroom sink, and she will share with us why her arch enemies are two neighbors named Farla and Shalala whose lives are very different from hers. As a matter of fact, Olga's life will change her usual routines when she discovers an odd, smelly creature that looks “like a cross between an inflated hamster and a potato drawn by a three-year-old.” She, of course, adopts the creature, a creature whose only word is “meh,” and that's how she will be named. From that point on, Olga gets her scientist-in-training mindset on and starts with writing down daily observations about “the thing.” Meh is scared of bananas, and Olga can't figure it out what she likes to eat...The adventures begin.
This is a fantastic chapter book on a cartooning shape, with lots of red and white and black in it. Readers 8 to 12 and adults like myself will roar with laughter at Olga and Meh's adventures, and probably will understand Olga's misanthropic humor, and cherish the fact that her attitude and thoughts about human beings softens by the end of the book.
A treasure, read it.
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Recommended by: Maite