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BIG TIME OLIE by William Joyce


by William Joyce & illustrated by William Joyce

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-008810-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Angry that he’s not growing up fast enough, little Olie has a “big and really bad idea.” But the button he pushes on the household “shrink-and-grow-a-lator” turns out to be the wrong one, and suddenly he’s the size of one of his kid sister Zowie’s toys. So he tries again, and this time swells up so huge that he bonks his head on the moon and burns his bottom on the sun. Olie may sound a bit precious—“I’m a little bit bigger / not a little bit smaller. / I’m a little bit taller— / I’m growing Rolie up!”—but his fourth outing, set in a digitally created alien world of rubber spheres and gleaming plastic, all in saturated hues, features Joyce’s (Sleepy Time Olie, 2001, etc.) trademark blend of the offbeat and the familiar. In the end, a chastened Olie returns to normal, with parental help, and settles down in a bed that’s “just big enough . . . for now.” Like Olie’s previous appearances, in print and on TV, the episode is neatly cut and dried, but Olie’s frustrated reaction to being told that he’s too small for this, but too big to do that any more, will find an understanding corps of young readers. (Picture book. 5-7)