A boy and an owl learn what it takes to become true Olympians in this picture book.
Best friends Max and Marla, the narrator tells readers, are Olympians. Although Max is a little boy and Marla is an owl, the narrator insists they are “real-life, honest to goodness, cross your heart…Olympians.” When Max and Marla set out to sled down a snowy mountain slope but don’t slide, they realize that their sled needs wax and that “preparation is key.” Attempt No. 2 ends when an out-of-control wind takes them into a tree. But “true Olympians never give up,” and after a recovery sick day, when the Olympians learn that “taking care of yourself is...probably most important of all,” they try again. Despite their careful preparations, the sled crashes once more, and Max and Marla end up as balls of snow, which they turn into snow angels as they extricate themselves. The summary attribute, an attitude that turns “obstacles…into victories,” is underscored by the final illustration, showing Max and Marla bestowing doughnut “medals” to each other. Author/illustrator Boiger’s story is graceful, and her limited-palette watercolor illustrations in well-designed combinations—including spot illustrations, full-page bleeds, and double-page spreads—effectively keep readers’ attention on the story and do not overwhelm with gratuitous detail.
A fun-filled story that delivers the true nature of the Olympian spirit. (Picture book. 3-6)