Review by Mary Rowe (Library Queen's Weblog)
Oliver has a very common problem found among children with an older sibling. Oliver doesn’t get a chance to speak. Oliver opens his mouth to speak but someone always answers every question for him. First, it is his older sister. She seems like the typical older sister who is trying to be helpful. She just has not noticed that Oliver has grown up and is able to speak for himself. Mom and Dad are also guilty of speaking for Oliver instead of waiting for him to form the words and make his own voice heard.
It takes a kind, patient preschool teacher to help Oliver find his voice. Oliver seems a little overwhelmed when he gets to make a choice for himself about where to play. Mrs. Samra is patient while Oliver tries to get his underused mouth in motion. Through the process Mrs. Samra listens with her eyes and heart as well as her ears. Finally, Oliver is able to tell her what he wants to do.
Oliver has learned his lesson well. After his first day in pre-school he gets up in the middle of the night and lets everyone know they have not been right about what he really wanted as they spoke for him. Loudly, he lets them know all the things he tried to say over the week. Mom, Dad, and Margaret are so surprised that this time they have nothing to say.
This is an excellent book to be used in the home or classroom, not only to encourage children to speak up, but to let talkative children know they are not being helpful when they rush to finish someone’s thought or sentence. Sometimes, children need an extra few seconds of time before they can gather their thoughts. Those who are a bit quicker in forming their thoughts (Mom, Dad, older siblings, and even teachers) need to take the lesson in this book to heart.
Reviewers note: This book hit very close to home for me. My grandson has some tendencies found in children with oral apraxia. There seems to be a bit of “a disconnect” between his brain and his oral muscles. He can make all the sounds but has a hard time getting his lips and tongue into position to make the sounds. This causes a bit of a delay when he begins to speak. It also causes him to substitute some sounds that are easier for him to make for some of the harder sounds. He is more than happy most of the time to let his older sister do the speaking for him. His mom has an undergraduate degree in speech communication. She has been able to make sure he got an opportunity to make his voice heard.
What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
Just One More Book: "Slurps, spaghetti, grimaces and gasps seem to spurt from the page in this animated escapade of a younger sibling who finally finds his voice." (listen to podcast about book...)
My Readable Feast: "Oliver Has Something to Say! makes us realize that quiet kids do have opinions and we need to encourage them to express themselves." (read more...)
Cheryl Rainfield: "Do you know a shy child, or a child who has a hard time speaking up? Give them this book; it may help them to feel understood or less alone." (read more...)
The Literary Word: " I think this is an amazing book in that it will inspire and promote confidence in children who are shy or quiet." (read more...)
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 24 pages
- Publisher: Lobster Press (March 25, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1897073526
- ISBN-13: 978-1897073520
- Source: Review Copy from Publisher