Annika Perry’s Oskar’s Quest (2019) is a beautifully written children’s book that will appeal equally to adults. It’s an imaginative anthropomorphization of nature’s inhabitants as we join the tiny white bird named Oskar in his journey of discovery.
Oskar is afraid of adventures. Yet one day he finds himself on a mysterious island which needs his help. Join Oskar on this unexpected and magnificent quest, where he finds not only courage but so much more… “It’s light, extremely enjoyable and very gripping.” Esther Chilton – author & editor. Perfect for ages 3 to 6.
Oskar doesn’t consider himself to be brave or adventurous but as sometimes happens, events around him conspire to place him where he must be both. If he isn’t, his new songbird friend Maya may not survive. In the forty pages of this gorgeous book, we join Oscar as he tries to do things in ways he never thought he could, all to help a friend.
What makes this message all the more compelling is the imagery. Pictures accompany each page and quietly tell us more than the words can. Each brushstroke is filled with such rich color and texture that we are part of Oskar’s quest. It is not just a red flower (because that’s what the text described) but an active red-hued flower that is moving or weeping or bending to what the words say. You could read the story without the text but not the text without pictures. You would miss too much.
While Oskar’s story is simple, the visual and mental image of this seemingly fragile bird doing what he must though it frightens him is powerful. Perry includes just the right amount of onomatopoeia to excite young readers, not overdone and each chosen well for the particular action. Children will remember it the next time they are asked to be fearsome, especially if they aren’t that type of child.
If you’re looking for a book your 3-6 year old child will want to read over and over–by themselves–you’ve found it in Oskar’s Quest. Highly recommended.
Oskar’s Quest is available print or digital from Amazon at this link
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.