cover image Picnic with Oliver

Picnic with Oliver

Mika Song. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-242950-6

Two unlikely best friends, Cat Oliver and mouse Philbert, head out for a picnic in the park—but mishaps ensue. First, their cart gets a flat tire. Crisis averted: they replace it with a bagel and are on their way. Once at the park, Oliver makes lunch, and Philbert sets sail in a paper boat on the park’s pond. But clouds announce the arrival of a storm: “Suddenly the pond is a rough sea. Philbert’s boat is much too small for the big waves.” Transforming the pair’s picnic umbrella into a bigger boat, Oliver daringly rescues Philbert. Song renders the scenes in pale colors; ink-and-watercolor art features loose, chalky outlines; and Oliver and Philbert communicate via dialogue balloons. This quiet outing, about rolling with the punches, closes with a cozy resolution in the form of an indoor picnic, where it’s just “ ‘You and me.’ ‘And cookies.’ ” Ages 4–8. (July)