Darcy Pattison, Author, Joe Cepeda, Illustrator , illus. by Joe Cepeda. Harcourt $16 (56p) ISBN 978-0-15-202329-4

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, Raymond Johnson." Oliver makes the coast-to-coast trek "hitching rides" from truckers and three elderly sisters, joining Miss Utah in a parade and even scaring away bears in the Redwood forest. The entire tale unfolds through correspondence written in various typefaces, and occasional wordless spreads, painted in Cepeda's (What a Truly Cool World) unmistakable palette, which demonstrate the breathtaking beauty of America's varied vistas. In one, the artist depicts an insignificant-looking Oliver standing alongside a New Mexico highway with mesas and a pink sky filled with thunder clouds that seem to drift off the pages. Pattison (The River Dragon) nicely varies the voices and pacing throughout (e.g., "So when Quinn's cousin's boyfriend's aunt was leaving to visit her sick grandfather in Fort Smith, Ark., the guys loaded Mr. OK into the aunt's station wagon," an Arkansan writes), and the story's emphasis on geography (the final endpapers trace Oliver's trip) injects added interest into this warm tale that ends in a family reunion after all. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/20/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-88700-8
Ebook - 56 pages - 978-0-547-76998-1
Paperback - 52 pages - 978-0-15-206118-0
Open Ebook - 56 pages - 978-0-547-54102-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.