Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review: Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Charming story perfect for young readers
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Unusual cast
Fast moving story; great pics
Make for charming book

Oliver's Explanation is a Fun Adventure for Us

Even though Oliver and the Seawigs isn't out for another week and a half, I'd already started hearing great things about it.  So when a copy came up on Amazon's Vine program, I snagged it.  I'm very glad I did because I really enjoyed it.

Oliver has spent all of his ten years of life exploring thanks to two parents who love nothing else.  But with no parts of the world left to explore, they are going to settle in a house by the bay.  While his parents aren’t happy, Oliver is excited to have his own room, make friends, and even go to school.

However, when they arrive, Oliver’s parents spot some islands in the bay that weren’t there before.  They go out to investigate and vanish – as do the islands.  Oliver doesn’t panic, however, but begins to try to find them.  Just where will the search lead?

While the first chapter starts out looking a bit ordinary (and so far, I've just described that first chapter), it quickly turns into a fantasy adventure.  After all, we have a talking seagul and a nearsighted mermaid as two of the other main characters, plus a few surprises I'm not going to spoil.  (One of which explains the Seawigs part of the title, but again, no spoilers).  This is definitely a story that boys will be interested in reading, and I'm sure girls would enjoy it as well.

Obviously, since I've just talked about the first chapter, it is a fast moving story.  Something is always happening, which I found interesting, and I know the kids will enjoy as well.  The climax was perfect.

Plus there are wonderful characters.  Keeping the target age in mind, they are a bit simple, but they are still utterly charming.  I loved them and loved rooting for the heroes to win.

There are lots of illustrations in this book.  Some pages are just text while others are almost all illustration.  They are fun and charming in their own right and really do compliment the story.

The target age for this book is grades 2-5.  As such, it's a great transitional book for those looking to move beyond easy readers.  I read it in a couple of hours, and it would obviously take the target audience longer, but the illustrations help break up the text and will help them get through the almost 200 pages with ease.

This book has a charm that snuck up on me, but the ending was perfect and perfectly adorable.  If you have a young reader, they will get hooked on Oliver and the Seawigs.

Note: I received an ARC of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.  A shorter copy of the review will be posted on that site as well.

This review is part of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. I'll keep this one in mind as I have several emerging readers I could recommend this one to. Thanks for the advanced review. Looks like a winner.

    1. It snuck up on me and I really did enjoy it. I hope those young readers will enjoy it as well.

  2. This one struck me as overly quirky for my slightly older readers. I think the 2-5 grade level is right on the button. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Grades 2-5 was the recommended age. I think I would have loved it at that age. Heck, I enjoyed it as an adult.


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