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review 2014-10-29 16:51
Oliver and the Seawigs - Philip Reeve,Sarah McIntyre

Oliver and his explorer parents return home only for his parents to be taken out to sea by things that look like islands but move. Oliver heads off to rescue them. It’s all very silly, in a way that will probably appeal to some kids. There’s just not much meat here, though.

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/recent-reading-cybils-edition
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review 2014-07-11 01:26
Oliver and the Seawigs - Philip Reeve,Sarah McIntyre

Oliver and the Seawigs is a truly charming and enchanting read. The art is captivating, the story is lively and fun, and the conclusion satisfying. Can I time-travel back to when I was eight and read this again?


the plot: Ten year-old Oliver is happy his parents have finally decided to settle down from all their exploring in their ramshackle house on Deepwater Bay. But it isn't long before his parents spot the mysterious-looking islands that have appeared in sea and run off to explore. Oliver expects them back--but then their orange dinghy washes up without them, and there's only one thing left to do...


what I really enjoyed: The illustrations. They're so expressive but simple at the same time. The quirkiness of the story really reminded me of days hunting for books that would capture my imagination in the school library. There wasn't anything quite like this. Kids these days are so lucky--do they know?


what disappointed me: Nothing, actually. I felt like the blurbs I read delivered on the promise.


who I would recommend this book to: Young readers who like adventure stories (like the Magic Treehouse), and young readers who are hesitant to try tackling a chapter book.


*note: I received an e-copy of this book through Netgalley from Random House Children's in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2014-07-05 00:00
Oliver and the Seawigs
Oliver and the Seawigs - Philip Reeve,Sarah McIntyre 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 though sea-wigs are not some type of fluffy animal, they are still a very cute and amusing concept.

The book is about a boy, Oliver, who grows up with parents who are adventurers. He's excited because they've finally adventured the world enough to have seen all they wanted to see, and are about to settle down and live in a house (with beds!) and he can finally go to school (for the first time). Oliver's pretty darn excited when they arrive. But, as his parents go off to explore the surrounding islands, something happens. They don't return. Oliver goes in search of them and, as you can imagine, an adventure ensues.

The book is short, so I don't need to say much more about the plot except that it is perfectly paced. The illustrations are really amazing. It's not often that I see a book with illustrations as riveting as the actual story. I found myself admiring them for several moments and having to force myself to go back to read and stop giggling over the cute pictures. It helps that the story includes wonderful characters to see drawn: such as a chubby mermaid who is nearsighted, little monkeys, sarcastic sea (made up of sarcastic comment-throwing seaweed) and islands that talk and move. What are sea-wigs, you might wonder? Well, they're the "wigs" these roving islands create for themselves by piling junk on their shores. They're made up of numerous things...wrecked ships, animals, plants, chests of treasure, etc. Creative, eh?

I will definitely be purchasing this book for my niece and nephew. Heck, I will probably end up getting myself a copy too just to see it on my shelf. The thought of being able to open up and see that chubby mermaid makes me very, very happy.
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review 2014-07-03 16:58
Oliver and the Seawigs
Oliver and the Seawigs - Philip Reeve,Sarah McIntyre

What a terrific tale this was with seawigs, merpeople, giants and a little boy named Oliver. This would be a wonderful bedtime story or read aloud and its one of those stories that can be read again and again. Oliver and his parents have lived the life of explorers and they have explored everything. They had run out of things to explore, so the family is going back to their home by the sea. After ten years, Oliver is excited about finally having a bed, going to school and have a stable home. As they round the bend, they see islands off the bay and his parents are thrilled! More exploring!! Knowing they can explore while still living at the house, Oliver feels okay about the islands but he still has mixed feelings about his parent’s strong regard to exploring. As Oliver unpacks, his parents leave to investigate the isles. At sundown, his parent’s dinghy returns with no inhabitants. Oliver doesn’t worry but springs into action and drops his own dinghy into the water to investigate. There is no turning back when I got this far into the book as the search for his parents became quite a production. Oliver ends up resting on a Rambling Isles and I myself, will never look at water logs the same again. Although Oliver’s Rambling Isle was made of stone, I assimilated his Isles to the pieces of wood that stick out of the river where we go kayaking. These pieces of wood sport small trees, grass, rocks, sticks and just about anything that float to them.   I have taken countless pictures of them when we are out, as each one of them is unique and now thanks to Oliver, they are now Rambling Isles to me. My imagination is stretched a bit further, thank you Mr. Reeve. As Oliver sit upon his Rambling Isle, he hears quite a few stories from a variety of characters and hold onto your seat cushions, the ride is going to get bumpy. They know something about his parents and Oliver is all ears. This is quite a performance for Oliver and he is determined to find his parents. Oliver talks with his new friends, about all the adventures he had with his parents and the love they have for one another. Oliver new acquaintances encourage him but it Oliver who says, “But there would be no point in going home without Mom and Dad. Without them, it wasn’t really home at all.” The language is smooth and I cannot tell you how much I loved the imagination that brought everything together. The pictures were artistic and free-flowing. I spent some time just looking at all the different things that the illustrator included in her work, some of the details were fun and they supplemented the story.  Oliver was clever in handling a bully; he was quite someone to be proud of. I hope this is not the last I see of Oliver.

Thank you Random House Children's Book and NetGalley for supplying me a copy of this book to review.

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review 2014-06-27 19:20
Oliver and the Seawigs - Philip Reeve,Sarah McIntyre

This is the best children’s book I’ve read since Neil Gaiman’s FORTUNATELY, THE MILK. Actually, I’d put it right up there with that one for imagination and sheer fun. I don’t know if Philip Reeve’s books are all written this well (it looks like the other books are tailored for a little older crowed), but I’ll definitely check them out.



First up, what is a seawig? Well, of course, it is a wig made of seaweed and other items from the sea. Of course. And, the moving rock island needs help from his friends if he wants to win the seawig contest. Between the submarine, monkeys, mermaid, and albatross, it all gets mixed up. Oh, and the missing parents. That too.



The writing is great, but I’m sure happy to see the pictures, too. Sarah McIntyre did a bang-up job of providing the flavor of the writing in drawing form. Look closely and you’ll see little hidden charms in each of the drawings. Besides getting more of Reeve’s books, I’ll be looking for McIntyre’s illustrations as well, probably starting with THERE’S A SHARK IN THE BATH.



There’s not much I can add to this besides a “thank you” to Random House for providing me an electronic review copy of this book. This is something kids will enjoy, but plenty of us grown-ups, too.

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