Oliver, the elegant tom cat who ‘loves himself,’ is back with his friend Jumpy the kangaroo in three interesting little adventures for little readers—or little ones who like to be read to. In Oliver and Jumpy: 52-54 by Werner Stejskal, Oliver has to babysit for his sister while she goes to the hospital to have another kitten—a job he finds he’s hardly prepared for. Then, when Oliver spots a strange plume of smoke out at sea, he and his friends go to explore, and he finds himself taken captive to teach the chief’s son, of all things, English. In the final story, which is a bit confusing to me, we follow a raindrop from its origin in the sky to Oliver’s drinking glass, where it asks to be swallowed. While the first two stories teach useful lessons, I had a bit of a start at the third one; not sure how I’ll explain that one to my grandchildren. The illustrations, as usual, are superb, and the morals of the first two stories are useful lessons for any age. Maybe the moral of the third story is that everything has a purpose to fulfill; I’m just not sure. This is the first time I’ve found anything critical to say about this series, which are still great for entertaining small ones, and teaching them useful life lessons in the process.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I give this one three and a half stars only because of that last, somewhat troubling story.