Monday, December 26, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Books 58-62" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book: 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! 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. Love you all! Meow!
  • Story 58: Down the Well – A frog gets philosophical. 
  • Story 59: Finding the Story – Do you like to write a story? First you need to find one! 
  • Story 60: Story Writing – A funny way to write stories. 
  • Story 61: What a Laugh! - Laughing is healthy. 
  • Story 62: What's the Time? - A very unusual way to look at time.

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 Upwork, 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.

From the author:
"ILLUSTRATORS - I would like to introduce the six illustrators who made ‘Oliver and Jumpy’ so successful. These talented ladies and gents have put a lot of effort into their art.
Marvin Alonso, is a gentleman from the Philippines. He started off the series with amazing pictures and a huge initiative. He never needed to be told anything and developed all scenes by himself. Unfortunately, he decided to look for other work after about 10 stories. He was sorely missed.
The next illustrators did between one to four stories each.
Vinil Raj
Yon Rifa’i
Anahii Aleksanyan
Mario Tereso
And then there is Maycee Ann Reyes and her husband Allan … They were all one could wish for. Great scenes, self-reliant, reliable, courteous and quick. These guys got married while working at 400 illustrations for my series. As Maycee said: “Oliver was instrumental for us to get married sooner”. I can highly recommend this talented team for any of your picture book illustrations."

My Review: This book is the last book of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 58 - Down the Well, 59 - Finding the Story, 60 - Story Writing, 61 - What a Laugh!, and 62 - What's the Time?. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. Although the format changed a little if compared with previous books in the series, this book is still beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Down the Well", Oliver dreams of falling into the nearby well and landing on  a frog! Froggy tells Oliver all about his life on the well. In the "Finding the Story", Oliver tells his readers what a story looks like, so they can find it. But the fact is that each story looks different to everybody... In "Story Writing", Oliver says that he uses a blue pen called Penny to help him writing his stories, after he finds them (as a matter of fact, the word fairy sends him only 1000 words a day). He looks for new ideas everyday! In "What a Laugh", Oliver describes his favorite days at Sillandia. He really enjoys Christmas (when all people and animals are the decoration on the Christmas trees), and the Upside-Down Day, when everything but people turns upside-down. Finally, at the "What's the time", Oliver says that in Sillandia each clock shows a different time! During Harvest Day Oliver and his friends go to pick fruits from the orchids. Joey ate too much fruits and fall asleep, rolling down the hill into the brook. Everybody goes to his rescue. What an adventure!  All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not over excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
I highly recommend this book to the permanent library of any parent that is willing to entertain their kids during bedtime. I am just sad that the author announced that this book is the last one in this series. I only hope that he comes back soon with a new set of stories from our favorite characters!

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

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