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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ollie the Owllama is a children’s animal story book written by Kim Wilson and illustrated by Ashley Teets. Ollie was an Owllama, which meant he was part owl and part llama. One result of this combination was that Ollie had something funny happen whenever he was upset. You see, llamas spit when they’re upset, and owls hoot, so Ollie ended up making a “Pahoo” when he got upset. It wasn’t a sneeze, though most of the time people thought he was sneezing. Rather it was a combination of that llama spit and the owl hoot -- a mixture of noise and spit. It would happen when he got served terrible meals at school, like nettles and grass, or mouse casserole. No matter how hard he tried to hold it in, out would come a loud and decidedly wet “Pahoo”! It was hard being different from his other classmates. The owls loved mice for dinner, and his llama friends were glad to eat his nettles for him. Ollie’s mom suggested that he tell people he wasn’t sneezing, and he decided to do just that.
Kim Wilson’s animal story book for children, Ollie the Owllama, helps readers realize just how hard it is to be part owl and part llama, especially when one has to control those mighty, wet and loud “Pahoos,” but it does something else for kids -- Wilson’s tale shows how it’s cool to be different, and it helps to let others know when they misunderstand what you do or are. And the lesson is couched in a hilarious story that had me laughing as I read. I’m now proud to be one of Ollie’s biggest fans, and I’m still waiting to hear a “Pahoo!” Ashley Teets’ illustrations bring the plucky little hybrid, his parents and his pals to life beautifully. Wilson also includes Llama and Owl Fun Facts, a Glossary, a list of vocabulary terms and Comprehension Questions at the back of the book. Ollie the Owllama is great for story time, and well suited for new readers. It’s most highly recommended.