Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oliver and the Seawigs - Review

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve, Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre

Source: NetGalley
Description:  Oliver is the son of explorers and he is very relieved when they decide it's time to settle down at a house on the bay.  Upon arrival they discover undocumented islands in the bay and decide to go exploring.  Oliver is very surprised to discover later that day that both the islands and his parents have disappeared.  Being a very logical boy he decides to go find them with the help of a rather grumpy albatross and others he meets along the way.

Genre: Children's
Why I Picked This Book: I was invited to view this title by the publisher and it seemed like a fun adventure story.  Since I'm always looking for good children's books - especially those I think a boy would enjoy I was really excited to give it a try.

My Impression:
This series reminded me a little of The Series of Unfortunate Events books.  Not in tone or unfortunate-ness but more the straight forward and the setting that is almost this world but just a bit more magical.  I liked the mix of humor and adventure.  It wasn't so funny that it was slapstick but not so adventure that it could be scary to younger readers.  While the parents do disappear I think it's handled in such a practical matter of fact fashion that it wouldn't bother smaller children.  I love that the parents aren't portrayed as stupid and that Oliver genuinely loves them.  The illustrations are adorable but not cutesy.  The personality of each character is captured but there isn't the caricature feel I've seen in a number of illustrated books recently.  This would definitely read better in book form than Kindle so you can enjoy the illustrations to their fullest.  The chapters are short which would make this a great read aloud book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes I think it'd be great as a read aloud book for Kindergarten and up and a good book for 2nd to 4th grades


  1. I got the invite for this too and was on the fence. I'm glad to hear that the parents aren't portrayed as stupid, that gets annoying. Good review!

  2. This sounds like a fun book for kids, Katherine.

    I often find that children's books are better in print than on a Kindle--at least the ones I read my daughter. I have a few on my Kindle though that my daughter is always asking me to read to her. :-)