Oliver's Lollipop

by Allison Wortche (Author) Andrés Landazabal (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

When his sugary dreams don't go according to plan, Oliver learns that the wide world around him might just be the sweetest thing of all. Oliver finds the perfect lollipop on his birthday trip to the zoo, and it's all he can think about! Forget riding the carousel--he might drop his precious treat. No point roaring at the lions with his brother or engaging with any of the animals. After all, who needs the peacocks' beautiful feathers or the flamingoes' brilliant hues when there's a colorful swirly lollipop to admire? But when one particular zoo animal threatens to ruin the fun, Oliver learns that there's plenty more to see than the candy he'd been coveting. And sharing the day--and his sweets--with his brother might just be the most special treat of all.

Praise for Oliver's Lollipop

Vivid, bright paintings illuminate the well-told narrative centering a child's singular fixation, disappointment, and family warmth. --Kirkus Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews

Vivid, bright paintings illuminate the well-told narrative centering a child's singular fixation, disappointment, and family warmth.

Publisher's Weekly

Birthday boy Oliver, a bespectacled green-eyed child, is visiting the zoo with his parents—one is white, and one is Black—and his younger brother, Louis. But when a large, rainbow-swirled “perfect birthday lollipop” from the stand at the zoo’s entrance becomes Oliver’s sole focus, the zoo and all its offerings fade to the background in anticipation of the sweet. After Oliver’s treat is abruptly stolen by a mischievous animal, though, Louis helps Oliver open his eyes to the wonders before them. Wortche employs simple yet evocative prose: “It was starting to get dark./ But Mommy and Daddy agreed/ to one last carousel ride./ Oliver chose the dragonfly./ He let go—and felt like he was flying.” Landazábal’s vintage-inflected artwork, created in gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil, aptly captures the emotions of Oliver and family against the vibrantly colored setting. A gentle, well-paced reminder to live in the moment. Ages 3–7. [em](May) [/em]

Review quotes

Allison Wortche
Allison Wortche (allisonwortche.com) is a fifteen-year veteran of the children's publishing industry. After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she edited books at Knopf BFYR before becoming a freelance editor. She is the author of the I Love Science board book series, as well as Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine. Allison lives in New York. You can follow her on Instagram @allisonwortche.

Andres Landazabal (andreslandazabal.squarespace.com) is an illustrator and art director whose love for drawing and painting was instilled at a young age by reading classic illustrated children's books. His work has appeared in books, film, and television. Andres lives in Colombia. You can follow him on Instagram @landafla.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2021

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