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OLLY AND ME by Shirley Hughes


by Shirley Hughes & illustrated by Shirley Hughes

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-2374-1
Publisher: Candlewick

In what amounts to a companion for Annie Rose Is My Little Sister (2003), the doyenne of cozy domesticity offers a warm slice-of-life portrait of another brother-sister combo, this time with the unnamed sister doting over her toddler brother. Hughes depicts the preschool-age narrator and her sibling as chubby-limbed, curly-topped children in familiar surroundings. Switching back and forth between prose and verse, she expertly varies the pace and language to capture each episode’s feel: the pleasure of visiting a favorite sheep at a petting zoo; a lazy day “Splishing and Splashing” in the yard, “making mud, / Making rivers and dams / And swimming pools for ants,” peering at pond fish “suddenly diving / with a brisk whisk of their tails,” eagerly anticipating Mom’s birthday party. The narrator may not sound her age, but her observations beg to be read aloud, and it’s the mutual affection, the shared joy of ordinary family activities that will make the strongest impression on young listeners. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)