Monday, 7 October 2013

Olive and the Bad Mood by Tor Freeman

I plucked this little gem from an unsteady pile of picture books at my local library last week.  I'm probably the only person who plans their library visits to coincide with their toddler's nap time, but in my defense the children's section at my local is often in a bit of a state and I need full attention for searches.

Tor Freeman has become a fast favorite at our house and Olive and the Bad Mood is no exception. Freeman's characters are incredibly fun and expressive. I find myself instinctively changing voices for each one and it makes reading aloud a pleasure.  Just look at that cat's face on the cover, who could resist her?

The premise for this title is short and sweet. Olive is one seriously grumpy feline and she inflicts her mood on all of her friends by either insulting them or blanking them completely.  A bag of jelly worms reunites them for a brief period, but when the bag is empty and the last gummy worm is a distant memory, Olive's bad mood threatens to return.

This is a fun story that offers a moral as well, and it's pretty much a perfect length for E and me. It's a testament to Freeman that her animal characters are so loveable even when they're grumpy and behaving badly. E's memorized this one already so I better revisit that pile of library books again soon. Do visit Tor Freeman's website and prepare to be charmed by her work.

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