Olive is shy. Her adventures happen in story books where she can be the hero. One day returning from the library her book drops into the sea, waking a creature asleep there. Suddenly books and their stories are disappearing. It is up to Olive to find her inner courage to discover what is going on – and even more important, to find a solution.
The theft of stories is a familiar trope, and here it is handled with a refreshing confidence and imagination. The ending is particularly enjoyable and satisfying. Carter’s bold colour-saturated illustrations fill each spread using all the dynamics – whole page, split panels, vignettes – to add rhythm and movement to the story as the pages turn. The end pages themselves introduce the imaginative world Carter brings to life – book shelves, tentacles and an underwater murk. Olive is a brave little character who young readers will recognise. The problem that faces the Octopus is also one that will be understood – books need someone who can read them and share the stories.…but it is a problem that has a solution just as access to books, whether for adults or children, also has a solution. A very enjoyable picture book on all levels, to be recommended – and shared.