March 2016, Werner Stejskal, Ebook, Review copy
Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi!
Story 43: Flying Carpet – Our friends rescue a princess and bring her to the groom.
Story 44: Birthday Party – Oliver has a birthday party. He is shy about his age.
Story 45: Magic Berries – Joey eats all the wrong berries and his body changes awfully.
This is my first ever Oliver and Jumpy book with fun adventures in each tale. I didn't feel that I had missed much by not reading earlier books in the series. The grade would have been lower, because there were several grammar issues, part of 2 stories didn't quite make sense to me, some words didn't fit the readership, and one fairy's clothes was immodest when another wasn't, but because I enjoyed the 3rd story so much it balanced out those parts. (Apologies, I expect I was tired & cranky when I read this which made me pickier than normal).
There's heaps of imagination used for the stories, with some parts based on familiar stories which helped me enjoy them more. Oliver and Jumpy are lovable characters, travelling around experiencing so many normal and not so normal parts of life. There are laughs to be had, as well as some 'will they make it' moments. I like how some of the illustrations use lifelike images (eg food) that increased the reality of the scene without looking fake. The bright colours add to the book's appeal, as does the fact that there are so many more to read!
Find out more on Werner's website, and check out the following interview with Werner!
Author Interview with Werner Stejskal
Nayu: 1) How did you come up with the concept of Oliver and Jumpy?
Werner: The inspiration for my series came two ways. My daughter’s cat Minnie must have something to do with it. The most important influence was the movie Belle of the Island with Morgan Freeman, where he teaches a little girl “Imagination” to write her first story. this somehow triggered something in my mind.
2) Had you imagined it would turn into such a long series?
I actually wrote all 62 stories within three months. I was determined to do such a lengthy series right from the beginning, because I believe you will find success in publishing with 'Quality' and 'Quantity'.
3) With so many stories how do you keep track of what you've already written about?
That's simple. Each story has a different scenario. I went through pretty much anything I could think of. After 62 stories I ran out of Ideas. So, the series came to its natural conclusion.
4) What would you like readers to take away from the series?
I love my readers to share the delight of the illustrations, and I hope that many kids will learn some lessons without noticing it.
5) Where is your favourite place to write?
I used to think up the stories while doing laps in the public pool. After returning home I wrote the story on my Ipad, legs up on the couch. Each story started out at 1000 words. I soon realized that a picture book doesn't need that many words, and I had to reduce the number a lot.