I Love Ollie Activity Book, by Anna Walker

An activity book based on Ollie’s ‘I Love…’ books. Spot the difference between pictures of Ollie preparing for a beach trip; join the dots; colour and draw; add your own touches to a seascape and garden, using stickers and colours. And plenty more, besides!

Ideal for anyone who loves Ollie.

I Love Ollie Activity Book, Anna Walker
Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741696455

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online from Fishpond.

I Love my Grandma and I Love My Grandma, by Anna Walker

Ollie, the main character of the ‘I Love…’ series from Anna Walker is an androgynous striped zebra. Or ‘everychild’ in a pyjama suit. In previous outings, Ollie has loved his Mum and his Dad. Ollie also likes holidays and Christmas, to sing and to dance. Ollie even has his own ‘I Love Ollie’ font that’s used for his stories. I Love My Grandmais about Ollie spending a day with Grandma at her house. They have a picnic, a singalong and a bath. And all the while Grandma is knitting.

At Grandpa’s house, Ollie and Grandpa are ready for a day of gardening. Ollie helps as only a small child can, as they weed and harvest in Grandpa’s vegetable garden. At the end of the day, the two share dinner and a chat and then doze off in the chair. Illustrations are watercolour with lots of white space. Endpapers depicting a child’s drawing of the day’s activities echo the colours on the front cover and spine. And cuddles. Both Grandma and Grandpa offer the best of cuddles.

Each of the ‘I Love…’ books tells the story of a day with Ollie, from Ollie’s point of view. Text is simple, with the illustrations illuminating the words and reflecting a sometimes different story. But they are full of the simple joys of just being. As with previous offerings in this series, children will enjoy Ollie’s adventures and adults will appreciate the relationships depicted. Ollie is full of life and curiosity and love. These are small format almost square hardback picture books, sure to be a favourite with littlies and with their families.

I Love My Grandma

I Love My Grandma, Anna Walker Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741696363

I Love My Grandpa

I Love My Grandpa, Anna Walker
Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741696370

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

I Love My Mum, by Anna Walker

Ollie B is a small zebra-ish character who invites the reader into the everyday. In this outing, Ollie shares a day with Mum. Ollie helps with Mum’s jobs and then they go for a walk. The walk is full of the ordinary and extraordinary. The day ends with a wonderful bedtime hug. Illustrations are soft and evocative watercolours, full of colour and movement. I Love My Mumis a smallish hardback, styled as others in the series.

Ollie could be boy or girl. Readers will make their own decision. And it doesn’t really matter. I Love My Mumis full of the magic of everyday, celebrating the simple things that fill many days for Mum and small child. Learning is gentle. Familiar things become new through the eyes of small children. The size of I Love My Mumis perfect for little children who can follow the story in the illustrations, with or without the words being spoken.

Recommended for pre-schoolers.

I Love My Mum

I Love My Mum, Anna Walker
Scholastic 2010
ISBN: 9781741693331

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

I Love My Dad, by Anna Walker

My name is Ollie.
I love my dad.

Ollie, who has featured in several titles in the last two years, is back to share the relationship he shares with his dad. Actually, there is no indication of Ollie’s gender and readers can choose whether or not they wish to assign gender. Ollie is a small, striped anthropomorphic zebra who shares his world with the reader. In I Love My Dad Ollie shares the wonderful ordinary elements of a father-child relationship. Ollie and his dad climb trees, make cakes and more. Illustrations are watercolour on mostly white pages. Text is simple and minimal, in a clear handwriting font. I Love My Dad is a small square hardback book with bright yellow endpapers with naïve sketches of tree branches and birds.

Ollie is a loving and very likeable character, a young child clothed in zebra coveralls. His world is simple and defined by the relationships he shares with those around him. There is the overt relationship with Dad but there is also Fred, his dog, a sister and a teddy to take to bed. Walker uses few words and it is the spaces between her words that speak loudest. Her images are deceptively simple too, but pack a full emotional punch. Small children will relate to the action, from the swings in the park to piggyback rides and the cooking with Dad. Recommended for preschool-aged children.

I Love My Dad

I Love My Dad Anna Walker
Scholastic 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

I Love Christmas, by Anna Walker

Ollie the Zebra has won the hearts of lots of young Aussie readers with his ‘I Love’ stories. This Christmas, he appears in a new offering, I Love Christmas, telling us what he loves about Christmas.

From decorations and tinsel, to gluing glitter and helping make the Christmas cake, Ollie loves everything about Christmas – but what he loves best of all is to sit with his dog, Fred, and listen for Santa’s sleighbells.

I Love Christmas is as gentle and beautiful as earlier titles in the series, including I Love My Mum and I Love to Sing. With gently rhyming text, and watercolour illustrations, this small format hardcover book is perfect for babies and toddlers, and would make a lovely first Christmas gift.

I Love Christmas

I Love Christmas, by Anna Walker
Scholastic, 2009

This title can be purchased online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

I Love to Sing and I Love to Dance, by Anna Walker

Ollie, a gorgeous zebra character, loves to sing. He loves to sing in his chair, and he loves to sing on the stair. As he sings his way through this delightful book, he sings in the rain, the bath and with ducks in the park. Then, in a second book, he shares his love of dancing, which he does with gusto.

This little pair is presented in small format hardcover binding. The size is perfect for toddlers to hold for themselves and the simple, gently rhyming text is also perfect for this age group, who could quickly memorise and ‘read’ it for themselves. Ollie is joined by his dog, Fred, and sometimes by his baby brother as he sings and dances his way through life.

This is illustrator Anna Walker’s debut as an author, though she has previously illustrated other books as well as greeting cards and other projects. Her endearing style both with words and illustration will ensure her ongoing success.

A beautiful pair.

I Love to Sing and I Love to Dance, by Anna Walker
Scholastic Press, 2008