Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn

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Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An enjoyable and light read that will amuse any young book fans, especially those on the cusp of hearing chapter a night books. Although not perfectly polished, there's plenty to admire; there's plenty of potential for future success.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Padraigin Promotions
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0956494603

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Olly the Octopus is having fun, playing in an old wreck on the seabed. He meets a new friend - Paddy Parrotfish - and they compare their differences. Paddy is proud of his bright colours, whilst Olly has eight tentacles to show off. They're having a whale of a time, when danger rears its head, and they take cover from a scary shark. Will Olly's daddy come to the rescue?

Olly Meets A Shark is great fun. It's a bright and energetic tale, with a few light educational touches woven in. Olly learns about the dangers of going off somewhere without telling his parents, as well as sharing how to count up to eight. The plot is simple, yet well-rounded and keeps you entertained throughout. The text is slightly longer than the average picture book, which really works well, particularly for young children who aren't quite on to chapter a night books, but want a little more substance to their story. Olly Meets A Shark would have benefited from a last quick copy-edit - there are phrases like distracted his attention which will niggle pedantic parents.

Garry Thorburn's illustrations suit the mood of the book perfectly. They're bright, cartoony and full of life. All the characters are bubbly and friendly, with the shark an obvious baddy, but without being unpleasantly scary for the young audience. The Olly Octopus website mentions that other Olly Octopus books are in the pipeline (which would be welcomed) but the illustrations made me think immediately of a cartoon TV series. The YouTube videos (available in our shiny new infobox) bear this out.

Olly's website is well worth exploring. It has plenty of news, activities and competitions to entertain and amuse young book fans. It also gives a great feeling of the book's writing and illustrative styles.

Although not perfectly polished, Olly Meets A Shark is a thoroughly enjoyable read, that establishes a firm basis for future books in the series. If you're looking for a light yet slightly longer read, it's worth checking out.

My thanks to the author for sending it to Bookbag.

For a different octopus with the same name, check out Jolly Olly Octopus by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees. Two of our favourite picture books from last year also involved underwater creatures: One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell and Jeremiah Jellyfish Flies High! by John Fardell.

Buy Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Olly Meets A Shark by Patricia Melia and Garry Thorburn at Amazon.com.


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