In his imaginary book . . .
Cecil could be anyone
in any story.
Since Cecil was drawn, he’s been waiting to be in a book. He’s spent most of his life on a pin up board, where he’s seen other creatures come and go, pained, adorned and surrounded by words in shiny new books. Now, he’s sick of waiting. Determined to be in a book, he rips himself from the pin up board, but soon finds himself getting more adventure than he planned, in the wrong book. Luckily, after he escapes, he realises there is a scrapbook full of ideas waiting for him.
I Want to Be in a Book is a delightful meta-fiction offering from the late Narelle Oliver. With a mix of illustration techniques including Cecil sketched on lined paper, collage, photography and digital techniques and the text ‘typed’ on note paper, the story is visually pleasing with lots to see and find.
Cecil is a delight and a wonderful reminder of Oliver’s talents.
I Want to Be in a Book, by Narelle Oliver
Down on the rocky shore,
waves crash and smash.
Then the tide goes out and the sea is calm.
It’s a good time to explore rock pools.
At first glance, there isn’t much to see in a rock pool, but a closer look reveals lots of interesting creatures, from anemones, to crabs, shrimp, tiny fish and more.
Rock Pool Secrets is a divine non-fiction picturebook, taking youngsters inside the secrets of a beach side rock pool. the text is informative, but also beautifully crafted, enticing readers to keep exploring. the use of large flaps on most spreads is similarly enticing, with left sized text hinting and encouraging readers to look closely at the outside of the flap before opening it to see what new creature is there.
One of the last picture books created by the late Narelle Oliver, Rock Pool Secrets was crafted from beautiful lino cut and watercolour illustrations, with beauty and detail which offer much to explore.
Rock Pool Secrets , by Narelle Oliver
Walker Books, 2017
Tom has a new goat called Ernie. Ernie doesn’t seem happy until he’s allowed out of his pen to play with the dog.
Together goat and dog have lots of fun – but they also get into loads of trouble. If Tom can’t get Ernie to behave, he might have to give him away. Can Ernie prove he really is a dog-goat?
What a Goat is an easy to read Solo title, from Omnibus books. Written with beginning readers in mind, these books are perfect for the transition from picture books to novels. What a Goat is a fun read.
What a Goat, by Narelle Oliver, illustrated by David Cox
Omnibus Books, 2003
Creak…crunch…crack! From an egg covered in more spots than you could possibly count, came a very blue thingamajog. The other thingamajigs gathered around to see the new arrival, but didn’t stay long. This thingamajig was just too plain and boring, so he was left alone.
But, one Sunday morning, the thingamajig woke up to find he had a very curly tail. On Tuesday, he found he had a new pair of yellow wings. For the rest of the week, there was some new and interesting addition every day, until the next Sunday he was ready to show the other thingamajigs. Their reaction was not quite what the thingamajig expected.
The Very Blue Thinggamajig is a fun lift-the-flap book, which teaches the concepts of days of the week and counting, at the same time as providing a gentle lesson on differences. Author/illustrator Narelle Oliver uses simple language and rich pastel colours to create a gentle but fun story.
Oliver is the author and illustrator of many award-winning picture books, including The Hunt and Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?
The Very Blue Thingamajig,by Narelle Oliver
Omnibus, an imprint of Scholastic, 2003