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OLIVER AT THE WINDOW by Elizabeth Shreeve


by Elizabeth Shreeve & illustrated by Candice Hartsough McDonald

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-548-5
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

In this seemingly simple story, Shreeve tackles an emotionally complex topic with sensitivity. Oliver’s parents have separated, and now he’s starting a new school. Despite its enticing games and toys, he spends his days by the window. Stuffed lion in hand, nose pressed to the pane, he waits to see which parent will pick him up each day. As the seasons change, Oliver slowly begins to join his class in art, snacks and play until he almost forgets his former preoccupation. But when a new student enrolls in the winter and he sees her crying at the window, Oliver goes to her and shows her the window’s hidden treasures, making her feel accepted and secure with one tender gesture. McDonald’s unpretentious artwork serves the story beautifully with an earnest integrity. Loving texture is imparted on every surface by use of colored pencil, while she cleverly uses Oliver’s lion as a device to show his emotional growth throughout the story. The deceptively childlike drawings also exhibit a playful quality, as reappearing critters peek out on each spread. An honest and heartfelt rendering of a serious topic. (Picture book. 4-6)