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Oliver and the Seawigs

(A Not-So-Impossible Tale)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,203 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Oliver grew up in a family of explorers - but his biggest adventure is about to begin!

Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there's the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to
Hardcover, 195 pages
Published September 5th 2013 by Oxford University Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,203 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Ash Wednesday
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cool moms, dads, aunts, uncles and people
And then all of a sudden, there were too many monkeys.

I’m half-tempted to review this with Near-sighted mermaid! Talking Islands! Sarcastic Weeds! SEA MONKEYS! and leave it at that. Because really, if those things wouldn’t perk your interest then I cannot do much else. Also, I’m feeling a little out of my element critiquing a children’s book that is a straightforward adventure story with none of the subtext and metaphors where a broken mirror symbolises unfulfilled dreams and what-n
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Oliver Crisp. The new name in Super-guys. This kid totally rocks. He finally is getting a real home and before he even gets settled down he ends up having to find his wild exploration crazed parents.
He ends up teaming up with a near sighted slightly chunky mermaid named Iris. Who is completely awesome sauce. She doesn't care to sit around primping and singing like the other mermaid ho's. (No the book didn't call them ho's..I did.)

He also has help from a grumpy albatross and a wandering islan
Michelle Pickett
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My daughter is having trouble with the way reading is taught at her school. One method is taught there, while I taught her how to read before she started school using another method. This has caused a lot of confusion and some heavy self esteem issues for her. She doesn't feel "as smart" as the other kids because of her reading.

We read together everyday and then again at bedtime. She started reading Oliver and the Seawigs during her afternoon reading time. She read longer than I require her to..
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect for Y3!

Funny, a bit ridiculous and exciting tale of exploring, being brave and making new friends.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cute story! It's very creative and the illustrations are wonderful. It's nice to see an adventure story geared toward younger readers. I do think the vocabulary is probably fairly challenging for its intended age group, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing--just something to be aware of if you're recommending it for a reluctant reader. Overall, I recommend it!

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced digital copy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"‘No, this is a completely different place," said Iris. "It's called the Sarcastic Sea, and sailors fear it because the weed keeps making horrid, hurtful comments about them.'"

This was an incredibly adorable book. When I first got invited to read this book, I had no idea what it was about. I saw the title, cover, and that it was middle grade, and said yep I'll give it a shot. I'm really glad I did. Because even th
SoWrongItsRANDI {Bell, Book & Candle}
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review

4.5 stars

This was so cute! I really like the imagination in this book. It most certainly brought me back to when I was in elementary school.

Oliver Crisp's parent go missing while exploring an island, and its up to Oliver and a few friends he meets along the way, to rescue them

Very likable. I liked how you most certainly can relate to each character; even the bad ones haha.

Fantastic! I just love the imaginative
Alice Chandler
Absolutely loved this book. Don't think I have ever read a book so quickly. Lovely storyline that appeals to all readers and interests and characters that you can't help but build a bond with. Who would have thought you could feel sympathy for a rambling isle!! Brilliant illustrations that really add to the book while also telling a story themselves. Will definitely be recommending this one to children, family and friends, while also using within my teaching due to the endless cross-curricular o ...more
Barb Middleton
It's a bird... It's a plane... It's a seawig! A newfangled superhero you don't want to miss. Ten-year-old Oliver Crisp's parents ironically go missing the day they stop exploring and move into the old family home. Oliver is unpacking the car when his parents spy a bunch of islands in the bay. Jumping into a dinghy, they disappear along with the islands by the time Oliver sets out to rescue them. He sails out to a lone island and meets an albatross named, "Culpeper," who explains that the islands ...more
Bookish Devil
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is a hilarious account of the adventures encountered by Oliver, who goes on a quest in search of his lost parents who are Mad Explorers.
The illustrations are spot on and they evoke laughter. The diverse set of characters worked out really well.

Altogether, it was a fun, adventurous read.
Mrs G
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great adventure story for LKS2 featuring explorers, a cantankerous albatross, a short-sighted mermaid, sarcastic seaweed (oh really...) and moving, talking islands (among other things). I can imagine my class giggling a lot throughout this one - a class read I think. Fab.
adik miftakhur
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it
honestly, I loved the book. but, I felt like there's something missing in it. idk
Ben Trevail
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52books2018
Our next class read for LKS2 I think - definitely perfect for Y3 but enough exciting vocabulary for Y4 to enjoy. Much preferred it to Cakes In Space.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, middle-grade
Ben asked for his own copy of this one, so that's a five star rating.
Nacho Patiño
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
lost for words!:-0
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought the book was amazing because M.R Culpepper/Walking Albatros is super duper funny and poor Iris is short eye sighted so she finds it hard to concentrate [poor thing][SORRY IRIS!]
Ruby, 6 yrs
Dawn Teresa

Originally published on my blog ReadLove.

Gasp! Oliver Crisp is actually excited at the prospect of going to school! Because he’s spent nearly the whole of his ten years in the wake of his explorer parents on one adventure after another, he’s never set foot in a school. So when the Crisps have mapped every uncharted territory and climbed every mountain imaginable, they set out to settle down. Though “the house he [is] coming home to [is] one [he's] only seen on vacations,” Oliver Crisp is beyond
Sara Grochowski
When your parents are explorers, you never stay in one place for long. Oliver dreams of a place to call home - a normal bedroom, school, and friends. Finally, after there is nothing new to discover or explore, Oliver's parents decide to return home. While his parents explore the curious islands near their home, Oliver settles in, but it doesn't take long to realize that something has gone awry. The islands are suddenly gone, taking his parents with them! Oliver sets out on one last adventure to ...more
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Philip Reeve's latest novel, OLIVER AND THE SEAWIGS, is an interesting thing. It's a bit more complex than a chapter book, but simpler than a middle grade novel. It's heavily illustrated (almost every page!) but I wouldn't call it a graphic hybrid because there isn't use of sequential graphic scenes. The illustrations enhance the story, especially a dual-page spread of the seawigs, but they never tell the story.

The eponymous Oliver is a young boy who travels the world (reluctantly) with his expl
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014reviews
I didn't not like it. I could easily say I liked it well enough. But you know how there are certain books that you read and get excited about and just can't wait to talk about? This wasn't that kind of book for me. While there was not one thing about the book that I didn't like, I just didn't find myself loving it. I don't know why readers feel, in some ways, obligated to love everything they read.

I liked the opening paragraphs. "Oliver Crisp was only ten years old, but they had been a busy and
Kasey Cocoa
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My son (9) gave this book two fully raised thumbs up along with a toothy grin. He says it's a fun to read story that he did not want to put down. Mind you, he was reading it on MY iPad. He says the story was entertaining and original with really cool illustrations. We easily give this five stars and recommend it for all young readers. We received an evaluation copy in exchange for our honest opinions. Read more reviews and enter giveaways for books, kindles, cash and more on my blog.

Robin Stevens
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An utterly delightful, beautifully illustrated little book that's a total joy to read. Completely bonkers in the best British manner, this story of talking islands, short-sighted mermaids and sea monkeys deserves to be an instant hit with kids (and with everyone, actually).
Ian Long
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story of adventure and friendship!
Ms Threlkeld
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Very quirky story with graphic elements.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just when Oliver thinks he's going to finally settle down with his retired explorer parents, a sentient island takes him on a ride to a wig contest. Along the way he meets a nearsighted mermaid, sea monkeys, an albatross named Mr. Culpepper, and some very sarcastic seaweed. This is a chapter book with lots of illustrations along the way, perfect for reading to young kids or for older kids to read to themselves. Nothing super scary happens and the worst word used is "stupid." The main character i ...more
Ellie Labbett
Having spent years of exploring with his unconventional parents, Oliver is looking forward to settling down into his home and gaining some normality. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for the audience) the adventures begin again, as the protagonist goes on a hunt for his missing parents.
From wandering islands, mermaids and a grumpy albatross, this was a thoroughly enjoyable, laugh-out-loud book, with compelling level of fantasy and silliness. Reeves writing is quick and witty, with short ch
So much fun! Suffers slightly in comparison with the later two excellent-to-the-point-of-perfection Not-So-Impossible Tales, Cakes in Space and Pugs of the Frozen North, but still wonderfully absurd and adorably illustrated! Loved Iris, the sea monkeys (they were supercute, I don't care how bloodthirsty they were!), and Stacey de Lacey. "My name," the boy said importantly, "is Stacey de Lacey." "But that's a girl's name!" blurted Oliver. Stacey de Lacey's face turned a dark shade of red. "Silenc ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this cannot fully compare to Pugs of the North, it is a good read. I found the plot to be great for kids, but some scenes a bit likely to end you in a long explanation. Human sacrifice, sea monkeys, and the talk of animal skeletons can get iffy with small kids listening before bed. It's not descriptive of these things, but we do get to hear one of the islands has been basically soaking up blood and maybe that's why it took humans. I'd recommend this for parents who can explain things witho ...more
University of Chester teacher readers
Have just read this and absolutely loved it ... so much fun. The combination and intertwining of illustrations and text (including the size of the print) make this accessible for younger readers.
It is a whacky adventure story. Oliver's parents are explorers, but as they try and settle down to living a normal life another adventure appears in front of them ... but this time, Oliver has to come to their rescue. It has goodies and baddies, mermaids, and albatross ... and rambling islands, as for t
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great adventure story that follows the resilient Oliver in tracking down his parents and supporting/boosting the morale of a lowly travelling isle. Good triumphs over evil but in an appropriate way for young readers e.g. tickling to cause an isle to crack. My only criticism of the book is describing a mermaid in a negative way because she is "plump" and "short-sighted" - not so uplifting for any plump/short-sighted children! She does end up helping to save the day with her singing thou ...more
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Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects.

Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons for around forty children's books, including the best-selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series.

Railhead, published by Oxford Un

Other books in the series

A Not-So-Impossible Tale (4 books)
  • Pugs of the Frozen North
  • Cakes in Space
  • Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair

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85 likes · 21 comments
“My name," the boy said importantly, "is Stacey de Lacey."
"But that's a girl's name!" blurted Oliver.
Stacey de Lacey's face turned a dark shade of red. "Silence!" he shouted. "Stacey is one of those names that can be for a boy or a girl! Like Hilary, or Leslie, Anyway...!”
More quotes…