Oliver searches for his proper place.
“Do you ever wonder where you fit?” Puzzle piece Oliver, with a large round head that’s half blue and half orange, wants to be part of something exciting, wild, out of this world. But where? On his first puzzle he tries, he’s the wrong color; on the second, the wrong shape. Oliver decides that being himself is getting him nowhere; he colors himself red to fit in. This works, until his shape gets him ejected. He tries different appendages to change his nature, all to no avail. Desperate, Oliver decides to go to extremes. He changes himself, with tape and staples and a purple crayon, till he’s unrecognizable. He fits snugly into a purple puzzle. Everything is perfect, but it doesn’t feel that way to Oliver. He’s pretending he’s someone else. “What fun is it to fit in?” When he takes off his disguise, he’s immediately rejected and alone again. Still, Oliver’s glad to feel like himself again. He looks around and sees other pieces that, like him, have tried glue and tape and other bits to fit in. Maybe they’ll all fit together. They do, in a genre-mashing picture that’s exciting, wild, and out of this world. Atkinson’s message on being true to yourself is valuable, but his puzzle-piece metaphor has its limitations when applied to individuality. His Photoshop artwork bursts with color and ingenuity, however.
A good-hearted, if somewhat confusing, meditation. (Picture book. 3-6)