Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oliver” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  107 reviews
An imaginative child who doesn’t quite fit in finds a kindred spirit in this utterly charming picture book from a debut author-illustrator.

Oliver is different. He enjoys his solitude. He likes playing with his friends, who are puppets, stuffed animals, and other toys. With his rich imagination, Oliver’s day is never dull. There are bridges to cross, sharks to fight, and tr
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published October 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oliver, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oliver

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 665)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Not a long review, just a short one to express my thoughts.

This book sounded interesting, but in the end I was mostly bored. I just couldn't connect with Oliver (I found him strange and awkward, and yes, I know he was supposed to be all different and the likes, but for me he just felt like a boy who didn't want to grow up and check out the world around him). The story was also pretty boring. Just Oliver going on his daily life, reading books, playing with his dolls/plushies/whatever and then mag
I loved this picture book about a boy, Oliver, who feels different from everyone else so he spends most of his time alone reading and dreaming...until a chance occurrence introduces him to Olivia. Oliver and Olivia become friends and "it was the beginning of the best adventure he'd ever had." The artwork is lovely in muted colors, and the characters in the book are quirky and odd--a wonderful reminder that we are all odd, and different, in our own way.

The text is simple enough that it could wor
This is a little gem! I love everything about the book--the art and the text are fantastic! Oliver's okay with his doing things differently and usually by himself. His imagination fills his world, until one day when he feels different and discovers a friend, who is also a little different herself. The illustrations have a muted tone, but add some humor to Oliver and his surroundings. This gentle story would be a great conversation/discussion starter about differences between people. It would be ...more
In a very simple style, Sif tells the story of Oliver who's a little different. He has good times and great adventures with his friends who are really stuffed animals and puppets. He is perfectly happy doing things all by himself. He never even thinks about doing anything with other people until he meets Olivia. She is a little different, too.

Good for storytimes. Also, great for young ones trying to understand autism. Oliver may or may not have autism. He just doesn't have a problem with being
Wendy Hirst
I was sent a lovely book called Oliver by Brigitta Sif from walker books . It’s one of those books you know as you read the first page you can relate to it.
The story is about a little boy called Oliver who enjoys in his own solitude. His friends are his puppets and stuffed toys. Oliver is different. Straight away I connected with the character as my children are different and play very much in their own world due to be autistic. They are unable to make sense of the world around them as they are
Amy Musser
Oliver was a bit different, but most of the time he didn’t care. His friends, an assortment of stuffed animals and hand puppets, are there for him when he wants to go on an adventure. Over time, Oliver wants to do more things that his friends can’t do. You can’t play tennis with a puppet and the toys didn’t seem as enthusiastic about his piano playing anymore. However, everything changes the day Oliver and his friends chase an errant tennis ball to the house next door. There Oliver meets Olivia. ...more
Beth Sniffs Books
I liked the art -- the subdued color palette was quite a nice change from typically vibrant and bright children's book art -- but the story just didn't wow me.
A lovely story of a boy who prefers to play by himself until an unplanned event introduces him to a new friend. Fun illustrations have a lot of cute details that will have the reader lingering over the page spreads. Text captures well the solitude that some kids need.

Quote: "And sometimes, wherever he was, he wanted to fly away."
SOOOOOOO CUTE! This was a lovely story about being unique and figuring out how to share that with someone else. The illustrations are fabulous!Don't forget to go back and examine all the pictures once you've read the story!
Ashley Saunders
Sif, B. (2012). Oliver. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

Picture Book Soak

This wonderful book tells the story about a boy that is very different from others around him. He is very content being by himself until he realizes he is all alone. Towards the end of the book Oliver finds a friend and they begin a new friendship. I would use this book in my classroom to show students that being different is not a bad thing. The illustrations remind me a lot of Tim Burton cartoons. This is mainly due to t
Oliver reminds me of my son, and I'm reading this at work (library) and trying not to cry at my desk. Amazing illustrations and great story.
Pale green endpapers with framed pictures of Oliver, and various animals. The author has returned to her native homeland of Iceland and produced this gem of a story about a boy who feels different than the rest until he meets a soul mate with his same interests and imagination. The illustrations are mostly full-bleed with some cutout narrative illustrations as well. Oliver's friends are his books and his puppets.I love the middle opening with the tennis ball bouncing away. Great anticipation bui ...more
Oliver lives in a world of his own, reading stories and having adventures with his imaginary friends. Then one day his life changes when he meets Olivia, who also lives in a world of her own with her imaginary friends.

I'm biased towards any book that's about reading and books and libraries but this is a delightful tale about being different, accepting who you are and finding somebody just like you. And the illustrations are gorgeous: strange, gentle, muted colours; lots of detail to explore; an
Super cute. Reminds me!
Oliver was different than everyone else. He spent time in his own little world, visited only by his friends who were his toys and puppets. They played endlessly together, having adventures across the living room. When his family got together, Oliver played by himself under the table, wishing that he didn’t have to be there at all. Then there was the day when he played the piano for his friends, but no one bothered to listen. Oliver felt different all over again. The next day though, when playing ...more
Introverts have it tough. Sadly, since the world is made up of a greater percentage of extroverts who make it harder for quieter voices to be heard and understood, anyone who doesn’t quite fit the outgoing, social-butterfly mould is often ostracised for being ‘shy’, ‘a loner’, or just plain weird — and made to feel almost apologetic for being the way they are. For kids, especially, it can be hard to feel — and/or be teased for being — different, especially since it’s so much easier to blend in a ...more
Oliver is a bit different. He seems to be quite the introvert, preferring to play quietly on his own with his stuffed animals reading, putting on a puppet show, having tremendous adventures inside his imagination rather than dive into a crowd of people. One day as he's playing tennis against the side of his house (I did this many times, myself), the ball flies over his head and bounces away, through a narrow gate. Oliver steps through the gate and into the best adventure he's ever had; beyond th ...more
My five-year-old son picked this book out from our local library yesterday.

Oliver is a perfectly told story. It is beautifully paced and flows. It has a strong beginning, climax and ending (or second beginning). There are exactly the right number of words on the pages for bedtime reading. It is everything I would look for in a picture book, except the actual story itself.

Had I read the synopsis, "This is a picture book about a lonely boy who plays with puppets," I would have left the book on t
Oliver is a bit different. He likes playing with his finger puppets. He likes reading books. He likes going on imaginary adventures. He likes being different, but one day he feels different. His puppet and stuffed friends don’t really listen as he plays the piano. Then when he is playing tennis by himself his ball bounced to a neighbor’s yard. And he discovered…he wasn’t that different after all. Olivia liked puppets, reading, playing pretend and all the same unusual things that Oliver liked.

Emily Stueven
Oliver is a loner, his only friends a trio of stuffed animals. He goes on many adventures with these friends--to the library, through the sandbox (though the friends must sit on the sidelines at the swimming pool)--but he finds himself a little lonely for human company sometimes.

Birgitta Sif tells Oliver's story sweetly and without a sense of pity for the boy. She celebrates his quirkiness and will not let him settle for a friend who is not his idiosyncratic equal.

The illustrations are fun and
One of the few books that, to my mind, perfectly captures the experience of being an only child. It's not stated explicitly in the text (and that's fine, since it allows other people to relate), but every page reminded me of growing up with only myself and my imagination for company.
And that's okay. I like that it's "different," but not necessarily weird or bad or all the other things people think about only children.
The Styling Librarian
Oliver by Birgitta Sif - 2013 – new to me book, love it! Oliver feels like he is different but has friends who he interacts with, but those friends (puppets and stuffed animals) have their limits. Love the conclusion of the book, quite special. Great to share with students who don’t feel like they fit in… Glad this is part of the Golden Dragon Book Award program!
Oliver is different. He doesn't fit in and plays by himself or with his "friends" that are puppets. Eventually he finds Olivia. She's different two, and everything is better for each of them together. Sweet story about being who you are and finding friends.
Oliver is a bit of a loner as he has a vivid imagination. His best friends are his puppets and they go off on wild adventures together. But is he missing real company and one day when a tennis ball comes his way he discovers someone else who likes his games.
I recently discovered B. Sif as a gifted illustrator; she is also a talented author. This quick tale of Oliver and friends will cheer you as he finds his way from being different to others who are different just the same.
Nanci Booher
Such a great story. Oliver is a bit different. He thinks differently, wants to do different things until he meets Olivia. Then he finds someone who wants to dot he same things as him. A story about acceptance and friendship!
Oliver is a bit different. His friends are puppets and stuffed toys--until he accidentally discovers Olivia who's a little bit different, too. Nice message - That it's possible for everyone to find a friend.
Michele Knott
Sweet story about a little boy who is closer to his puppets than a friend his age... until he meets another friend that is similar.
Absolutely great for a kid whose imagination- or even anxiety- makes them feel a little different from others.
Jillian Heise
A story of being comfortable with one's own self, friendship, loneliness, and finding a kindred spirit.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Insomniacs
  • Penguin and Pinecone
  • Ribbit!
  • A Home for Bird
  • The Invisible Boy
  • Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon
  • Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
  • Squid and Octopus Friends for Always
  • Hank Finds an Egg
  • hello! hello!
  • Zoe Gets Ready
  • Little Elliot, Big City
  • Flora and the Penguin
  • Crafty Chloe
  • Monsters Love Colors
  • Zorro Gets an Outfit
  • Even Aliens Need Snacks
  • Dream Friends
Birgitta Sif studied art and design in the United States and worked as a children’s book designer at several publishers before moving to England to study illustration. She calls Oliver, her first book, "the beginning of the best journey I’ve ever taken." Recently she returned to live in her native Reykjavík, Iceland.
More about Birgitta Sif...
Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance Where My Feet Go Where Our Feet Go The Magnificent Moon Hare The Magnificent Moon Hare and the Foul Treasure

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »