Recommended for ages 6-10
The creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, introduced Olga da Polga, an adventurous guinea pig with a bit of sass, in 1971. I don’t remember this book when I was growing up, so I’m not sure whether these were originally published only in the UK, but there are both picture and chapter books full of Olga’s Adventures! Kane Miller Publishing recently brought Olga back to readers with this beautifully illustrated edition. Greenaway Medal winner Catherine Rayner adds beautiful watercolor artwork to this collection of stories that new readers and their parents will love and want on their shelves.
Olga da Polga is a guinea pig who wants to go on adventures. She wants out of the pet store! She gets her wish when she’s adopted by the Sawdust family – that’s what she calls humans – who builds her a her own hamster run in their garden. She goes on adventures in the family’s backyard and meets the local wildlife, including Noel the housecat, Fangio the hedgehog, and Graham, the tortoise. Stories encompass all the seasons, also lending themselves to great seasonal storytimes.
Olga da Polga is one of those books that I feel like I missed out on, and that I need to get on the shelves here at my library to make sure today’s kids meet Olga and her friends! Give this to kids who love their animal fiction – Paddington fans, naturally; Olivia fans, and Corduroy fans can move up to Olga da Polga and enjoy another group of stories about a plucky little guinea pig and her adventures. Kids reading the EB White trilogy (Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan) will love Olga, too. The short chapters/stories provide for great read-aloud opportunities.