- Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-235126-5 $12.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-235128-9 $8.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2-5
Aspiring zoologist Olga believes animals are way better than humans. She’s therefore delighted when the colorful poop (in rainbow shades) left around her trash leads her to the world’s most delightful, possibly undiscovered creature yet in her shed. “Meh” looks like a “cross between an inflated hamster and a potato drawn by a three-year-old,” which admittedly sounds pretty darn adorable. As much as Olga dislikes human company, however, she needs human help in figuring out what the little guy eats, how to get him to smell less like poop, and how to find him when he goes missing. The style here will be an apt readalike for fans of Wimpy Kid, and Gravel deploys spot art, larger illustrations, word balloons, and chunks of text with great success in the layout. Olga’s bug-eyed, bun-nosed face is wildly expressive, while the little potato chunk of a creature manages to relay emotion with similarly wide eyes as well as a few meaningful tail shakes. This is an obvious sell to fans of animals, but it will also hit a humorous note with anybody who has felt a little left behind by these things we call humans.