Saturday, March 31, 2018

Olga: We're Out of Here

Gravel, Elise. Olga: We're Out of Here (#2)
March 13th 2018 by HarperCollins
ARC from Young Adult Books Central

Olga and Meh are back after their exploits in Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere. Olga and her friend Chuck are enjoying playing with the strange and smelly pet, but Olga becomes concerned when Meh starts exhibiting strange symptoms. The creature has weird growths on its belly, smells even worse, is picky about food, and is generally lacking energy and enthusiasm. Even the Lalas try to help care for the sick pet, but nothing seems to make Meh better. It's hard to find a vet for a possibly alien creature, and Olga does consult Dr. Spiffle, only to find him taking selfies with her pet and offering no real answers. Luckily, a turn of event points out what was wrong with Meh, who quickly recuperates.

This is a goofy notebook novel, with very little text and lots of cartoon style pictures. Meh's background leads to all manner of wild conjecture, which is accompanied by appropriate drawings. Olga thinks aout what she would do with a herd of Olgamuses, she dreams about traveling to Meh home planet, and even gives us information about scientists in her somewhat oddball way.

I did enjoy the fact that when Meh got sick, Olga consulted her local librarian, Ms. Swoop. Ms. Swoop is a tattooed, hipster librarian who manages to give Olga a little bit of advice, as opposed to Mr. Gumstrap, a librarian who doesn't think children should be allowed in the library and whose lips are the same color as his face. (Which really shouldn't be held against him; it happens to many of us!) She also has the supportive store owner, Mr. Hoopah, who supplies her with olives and other sundries for Meh. Olga's parents are absent from the story.

Readers who like funny, quirky notebook novels like Shreve's Stan and the Toilet Monster, Skye's The Creature from my Closet and or Kowitt's The Principal's Underwear is Missing will enjoy the further exploits of Olga and her stinky pink pet.

Ms. Yingling

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