cover image Oliver’s Lollipop

Oliver’s Lollipop

Allison Wortche, illus. by Andrés Landazábal. Philomel, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-20300-2

Birthday boy Oliver, a bespectacled green-eyed child, is visiting the zoo with his parents—one is white, and one is Black—and his younger brother, Louis. But when a large, rainbow-swirled “perfect birthday lollipop” from the stand at the zoo’s entrance becomes Oliver’s sole focus, the zoo and all its offerings fade to the background in anticipation of the sweet. After Oliver’s treat is abruptly stolen by a mischievous animal, though, Louis helps Oliver open his eyes to the wonders before them. Wortche employs simple yet evocative prose: “It was starting to get dark./ But Mommy and Daddy agreed/ to one last carousel ride./ Oliver chose the dragonfly./ He let go—and felt like he was flying.” Landazábal’s vintage-inflected artwork, created in gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil, aptly captures the emotions of Oliver and family against the vibrantly colored setting. A gentle, well-paced reminder to live in the moment. Ages 3–7. [em](May) [/em]