Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 28-30 by Werner Stejskal

Oliver and Jumpy, Stories 28-30 
(Oliver and Jumpy, the Cat Series, Book 10)
By Werner Stejskal
Publisher: Werner Stejskal
Published: Oct. 28, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

These illustrated cat stories are all about “Oliver and Jumpy”, who are best of friends and experience many adventures together. Oliver is an elegant black tomcat, 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!

These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Depending on your device, there is pop-up text available. Love you all! Meow! 

Check out the Free INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES to see how beautiful the illustrations are! 

Story 28: Letter in a Bottle - Joey wants to free a prisoner.
Story 29: Oliver meeting Jumpy - This is how Oliver first met Jumpy!
Story 30: Enchanted Forest - Oliver and friends are fighting the witch.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Here are three more stories from this excellent author for young children. Each story in this book was illustrated by a different illustrator.

Letter in a Bottle

Foxy had been naughty and sent to his room to write an essay about how to improve himself. Instead he wrote a note requesting help, describing where he was, sealed it in a bottle and tossed it in the river outside his window. Oliver, Jumpy and Joey discovered it and went to rescue the kidnapped prisoner only to discover it was Foxy’s latest prank.

I liked this story and how Foxy got caught doing something that most children get caught at doing. It might not be sweeping crumbs under the carpet, but it may be some other shortcut.

I liked the illustrations which were clear and crisp and very similar to the illustrations in other Oliver and Jumpy stories which have been done by other illustrators.

Oliver Meets Jumpy

This was a good story because it fills in some of the information for long-time followers of Oliver and Jumpy. We know a lot about Oliver, Jumpy and Joey, but this is the first time we have heard about how two such unlikely animals ever became such good friends.

The illustrations were obviously done by a different illustrator in this story who had a little heavier hand in the outlining of the characters. There is nothing wrong with the quality of his work, but it is noticeably different from some of the other illustrators that I have become accustomed to seeing illustrating the Oliver and Jumpy Stories.

I particularly liked this story for its message: sometimes good things can come from bad things. I think it is important for us to help children look for positive things amongst all the negative things we see around us or we will become very negative ourselves. It is an important lesson.

Enchanted Forest

Oliver and Jumpy visit Ghost Castle and enter a room in which there is an enchanted forest. The trees can talk because they were soldiers that were turned into trees by a witch. Oliver casts his own spells with his own wand to turn them back and then fights with the witch. Afterwards he frees the remaining animals in captivity.

This was not my favourite story as I do not care for stories about witches and witchcraft. That being said, I did like that Oliver was willing to go out of his way to help others in need.

This author’s illustrations have the same feel to them as the illustrations from the earlier Oliver and Jumpy Stories books.

The pictures in all the stories in this series of books are always engaging for the young reader with lots of clues as to what is happening in the story.

I think young children will enjoy having these stories read to them and older children with some reading skills will enjoy being able to read the books to themselves (although there are a few words that will be beyond the young readers vocabulary). I gave this book a rating of 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Odesk, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.

There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

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