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BOOK REVIEW: Oliver & Patch by Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley

| 7 November 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Oliver & Patch by Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley

Simon and Schuster
June 2015
Paperback, $16.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book

8/10

oliver-patch

Oliver has just moved to the big city, and he misses the countryside. 
He misses the green fields, the wide open spaces, and most of all he misses his friends. 

One day when he’s feeling restless and goes out for a walk in the city, he finds Patch; a small, soggy, white ball of dog, trailing a streak of red leash. And he’s all alone, just like Oliver. 

The two form a fast friendship and have lots of fun together, but at night Patch sits by the window sadly, longing for his lost home. So Oliver sets out to find Patch’s owner, secretly hoping they won’t turn up so he won’t have to lose his only friend in the city.

 

This is a really sweet story coupled with really sweet illustrations, but the underlying message is the greatest thing here.

Who among us animal lovers, child or grown-up, hasn’t met a gorgeous animal out and about and wanted to have them in our lives? Who hasn’t stopped to help a lost dog, and perhaps bonded with it in the time it took for its owners to be found and come to collect their baby? But we say goodbye when their parents collect them because we’d like someone to do the same should our own dog or cat go missing.

It’s not our pet, we know that, but it’s also not like we can add them on facebook to keep up with what’s going on in their world.

These fleeting moments will likely be the only we have with this animal, and then it will go home and get on with its life. 

In this book, Oliver deals with exactly this situation. He makes friends, he doesn’t want to search out the real owner but he does it anyway, because that’s what’s best for the dog, and for his original family. That’s the right thing to do.

Days slipped by and nobody called. 
Oliver began to believe that Patch would be his dog forever.
He bought him a cosy red blanket and lots of toys. 
It was as if they had always been friends.

As the days go on, a little part of him hopes he won’t find the real owner, and when he does, he can’t help but feel a little more alone. 

But just because Patch has found his owner again, doesn’t mean Patch has to say goodbye. 

This is a great story for teaching kids about animal ownership, and that they can’t keep every lost pet that wanders into their world, but it’s also a gorgeous story for animal lovers of any age.

 

Stephanie O’Connell

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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