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The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Have you seen Oliver K. Woodman? You'd know if you had--he's made of wood. And he's on a spectacular cross-country journey. Folks of all sorts guide Oliver along the way and report back in letters and postcards to his friend Uncle Ray. After all, there's a lot of road--and adventure!--between South Carolina and California.
Oliver's been spotted truckin' in Texas, riding
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Katee Finegan
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
I loved this book! It is a great realistic fiction read aloud book for any grade level, but primarily upper elementary. This book is is a compilation of letters sent between a girl and her uncle and various other travelers. Young girl, Tameka, wants her favorite Uncle Ray from South California to visit her in California for the summer, but he has to stay to continue working. Instead, he makes a man out of wood, named Oliver K. Woodman, to send to Tameka. He makes a note asking travelers to take ...more
Jessica Vandewarker
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This adventure is a lively story of a wooden man's journey across the United States of America. It will help students get a visual representation of the United States by land. Students will enjoy looking at the illustrations and watching the woodman's adventures. However, these same students may have a hard time understanding the letters and postcards written as the text may be in cursive. It is also completely opposite of the way we travel and correspond today.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Reminiscent of the Flat Stanley books, wooden man Oliver has adventures as he travels from South Carolina to California. Partially a geography lesson, partially a travelogue, the whole book is in epistolary format as Olivers companions send postcards about his trek. Fun and highlights how families stay connected over distances. ...more
Part geography lesson, part cross-country travelogue, this tale begins when young Tameka writes to her Uncle Ray in Rock Hill, S.C., and invites him to visit her in Redcrest, Calif. The innovative carpenter-unable to make the trip-builds and sends in his place an enigmatic emissary. Oliver K. Woodman, a wooden figure akin to a large marionette without strings, sports a bright orange felt hat and a backpack that carries a note asking travelers to "give me a ride" and "drop a note to my friend, ...more
Landon Rotolo-Utz
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a wonderful little read. The story follows Oliver Woodman who is a wooden man on a long journey. The story is taken in through letters from various people who had just seen Oliver or are expecting him in the future. The illustrations are a critical part of the work and add a lot to the text. Will Oliver ever get to Redwood? You'll have to read to find out!

I would love to use this for my future students. It would be great during a read aloud whether it's curricular or
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One year, at Christmas, my grandson came to visit and had an "over the holidays" homework assignment for his Flat Stanley. He was supposed to have friends and relatives who had interacted with Stanley write about their activities. I was the only one who was really interested so I wrote a 2 page letter back to the class and his teacher and I guess it was a great hit back at the school. So, next time I went to visit them, we went over to the school and I took them a copy of this book--a similar ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
At first I didn't think I would really like this book. What is it about this wooden man that make me care but I couldn't put it down. This is such a unique concept and all the characters and their postcards, letters and illustrations show us how much fun they are having with Oliver. Because of their 'voice' Oliver doesn't really need his own. The journey from South Carolina to California is not a quick one and we get to guess and fill in the gaps a few times as to where/how he was left or found. ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2013, childrens, other-usa
I discovered this book and the follow-on tale, Searching for Oliver K. Woodman, through a review on Goodreads and I borrowed them both from my local library so we could read them together.

This is such a creative and entertaining story - we loved the idea of Oliver and his travels across the United States. The narrative is fun to read aloud and we enjoyed reading the various letters.

The illustrations are terrific and we talked a little about the places that Oliver visited on his journey. We
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids who like to travel
This funny story is written entirely in letters and postcards, and follows the journey of a large wooden man across the United States. Tameka's favorite uncle isn't able to visit her over the summer, so instead he builds Oliver K. Woodman to visit her instead. He sends Oliver on the road with a letter explaining where he is going, and then trusts drivers to help get there. As Oliver makes his way to California, the helpful drivers send updates to Tameka's uncle to help him track the progress. ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Educators will love the Oliver K. Woodman books! Reading a page each morning would be a perfect way to start off the day in any elementary classroom. Students can learn geography while mapping Olivers travels and practice their math skills (if the teacher would use google maps and show the distance between places) while adding up the miles each page. For art, the class can even make their own Oliver in countless creative ways and locations. LOVE IT! ...more
Kayla Heenan
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very cute book. The format of the book was a bunch of different letters written back and forth to several people. I could read this to my students if I am teaching them about the importance of hand written letters. However, by the time I am a teacher it might be a completely lost form of communication. I thought the pictures were very funny and I do believe students would find themselves entertained by this story.
G. G.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
CALIFORNIA OR BUST. I enjoy this book, it's funny. But I like looking at the illustrations, when you open the book there is a map of the U.S. across two page and its vibrant just like the other pages in the book. Oliver has an exciting adventure across the United States and it nice you are riding along with him.
Christina Bontrager
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book, and I have a feeling that students would, too. This book could be used to teach about letter-writing, maps, and locations in the United States. This book would also inspire students to create their own tracking project or research others such as the 'bill-tracking' or flat stanley.
Sun-Hee  Yoon
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you want an adventure, join Oliver's journey. Through reading this story book, my 4-year-old daughter and I have mastered the state name and map of U.S., and how to write a letter. It's so fun, you will find enjoyable even you are an adult.
Oliver is sent to a young girl because her uncle is very busy and can't come for a visit. Olvier is made of wood and he is transported from Sout Carolina to California by friendly folks. The story is told in letters from the girl to her uncle, and to the uncle from the folks who help Oliver.
Frida Vazquez
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a great story because in the story Oliver goes to different places and then at the end of the story Oliver finally gets to Tameka's house and they drink a cup of tea and they have a great day together and I think Oliver is tired of going to a lot of places.
Amanda S.
Nancy Lockett
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Skype author. LLA. March 2011
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
that oliver do so meny travels
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great children's book. My class of special education students loved it.
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for introducing a social studies unit. Very creative! The story is told through letters and postcards.
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
B. doesn't know why they wouldn't just send letters - why send a woodman?

I didn't like it as a read aloud because it was told in letters instead of a narrative.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Makes me think about life and its possibilities.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a fun story! Oliver is like a big wooden flat Stanley.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
a heart warming story of kindness.
Laurel Parker
rated it really liked it
Jan 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2012
Kaia Calhoun
rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 17, 2012
Nanor & Co.
rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2015
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DARCY PATTISON ( is published in ten languages.

Childrens book author Darcy Pattison writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Her works have received starred PW, Kirkus, and BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, Junior Library Guild selections, and NCTE Notable

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