Oh, Olive!

Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins/. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063237490.
PreS-Gr 2–Olive thinks she is a fabulous artist, sloshing colorful paint everywhere; her parents believe she should be painting shapes in black and white. They send her to art school, but Olive paints her own way, and pretty soon the other kids at school want to paint their own way as well. When Olive’s parents see the work the kids have done all over town, they have an unanticipated change of heart, and ask Olive to paint on some of their monochromatic single shape paintings, which Olive does. The exuberant, brightly colored, non-representational art that Olive chooses is fun, and young students will be excited to try out some of the splashing and smearing that Olive does. This is a pithy story about finding your own voice, even when adults keep coming in the way. It would be a good companion to Peter Reynolds’s The Dot or Mac Barnett’s Square.
VERDICT A nice story about finding one’s own voice regardless of the medium.

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