Ollie and Augustus (Hardcover)
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In a sweet story full of visual humor, first-day-of-school worries take on a new weight when Ollie’s best (and furriest) friend must stay at home.
Ollie was small — like a pickling jar or a shoe box.
Augustus was big — like a fridge or a table.
Ollie and his dog, Augustus, do almost everything together: painting, riding bikes, digging (Ollie’s favorite), and collecting sticks (Augustus’s favorite). So as Ollie is getting ready to start school, he’s a little worried. Won’t Augustus be lonely during the day? Ollie has just the idea: a sign that reads Wanted: Friend for Augustus. But good friends, as it turns out, are hard to find. Luckily, Ollie and Augustus aren’t just any kind of friends — they’re best friends, and nothing will ever change that. Endearingly illustrated with scratch-scratchy appeal, this is a tale for animal lovers and new school-goers alike.
About the Author
Gabriel Evans has been illustrating children’s books since he was seventeen. Augustus is partially inspired by his rescue border collie, who thinks she is bigger than she is. Gabriel Evans lives in Australia.
Delicate earth-toned illustrations rely on fine, sketchy outlines, pale color highlights, and all-white backgrounds to humorously flesh out the spare text. Fragile, diminutive Ollie appears an unlikely match for his massive canine buddy, but amusing vignettes reveal these pals engrossed in painting, bike riding, people watching, dressing up, tree climbing, and, of course, digging and stick collecting. An endearing, visually rib-tickling ode to best friends.
Sweet and spare, the illustrations convey large feelings, especially Ollie’s worries, and his relief about discovering that Augustus doesn’t mind entertaining himself. This gentle account of separation anxiety and companionship is a nice tonic for first-day-of-school nerves, in the vein of Oliver and His Alligator (2013), by Paul Schmidt.