Cover image for Oliver finds his way
Oliver finds his way
Root, Phyllis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Oliver the bear becomes lost when he chases a leaf to the edge of the woods, but then he comes up with an idea to find his way back home.
Reading Level:
AD 200 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.3 0.5 60392.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.5 1 Quiz: 32755 Guided reading level: F.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Newstead Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A small bear looks for--and finds--courage and a way home.

While Mama hangs the wash out
and Papa rakes the leaves,
Oliver chases a big yellow leaf . . .

Oliver is so intent on following a blowing autumn leaf that he doesn't even notice that he's lost his way. All alone at the edge of the woods, he starts to cry. He cries and cries - but he is still lost. And so he rubs his nose and tries to think. . . .

With characteristic warmth, humor, and a firm faith in the power of pluck, Phyllis Root quietly captures a big, defining moment in the world of a small child.

Author Notes

Phllis Root is the author of over forty books, almost all of them picture books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her middle grade novel, Lilly and the Pirates, is currently under contract. Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble won the Minnesota Book Award, and Big Momma Makes the World won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. Root was awarded a 2006 McKnight Fellowship for her book, Lucia and the Light. She has taught at the Loft, in the Complete and Practical Scholar program at the University of Minnesota, and in Vermont College's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. A youngster musters up his courage and taps into his own resources to find a way out of a troubling situation in this appealing story that can double as a lesson about self-confidence. While mama hangs the wash and Papa rakes the leaves, little Oliver the Bear chases a yellow leaf down the hill and out of the yard. The elusive autumn leaf leads Oliver on quite a journey--around a "clumpy bush," under a twisty tree, and all the way to the edge of the woods. The next thing Oliver knows, the leaf has disappeared and he is lost. He calls for his parents and tries to retrace his steps, but to no avail. But after a good cry, he thinks and thinks until he comes up with a solution. The illustrations, in deep, warm fall colors--golds and browns and rusty reds--are skillfully executed. Oliver is a darling, pudgy bear, whose lumberjack shirt and overalls give him winning charm. The art will carry well for use with a small group. Helen Rosenberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Root (What Baby Wants) uses a minimum of text and Denise (The Fool of the World) alternates close-up portraits with panoramic view to bring a fresh poignancy to the familiar theme of a child so caught up in play that he suddenly finds himself lost and alone. On a gorgeous autumn day, while Mama and Papa tend to chores, Oliver the bear cub follows the airborne path of a big yellow leaf. In nearly cinematic views framed in a clean white border, the artist shows the cub getting farther from home. Before he knows it, Oliver is at the edge of the woods. With economic, staccato-rhythm prose ("Oliver looks for the leaf./ No leaf./ Oliver looks for the house./ No house"), Root evokes the flashes of realization that constitute a child's thought process. Denise's gold-toned charcoal and pastel pictures never distort the landscape into something frightening. The woods where Oliver finds himself may be shadowy, but glimpses of comforting blue sky show through the trees, and a squirrel and bunny who watch Oliver are far from threatening. Denise gets terrific emotional mileage from the interplay of Oliver's tiny eyes, huge head and clown-like snout; readers will have no trouble empathizing with his plight. And when Oliver figures out that he can find his way back through call-and-response roars with his parents, youngsters will cheer his noisy ingenuity, too. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Descriptive yet succinct language tells the story of a small bear who gets lost while chasing an autumn leaf. First he bursts into tears, but when he realizes that crying doesn't help, he devises a plan to get him back home to Mama and Papa and "tumble-down hugs." Denise effectively uses a red, orange, gold, and yellow palette of pastels and charcoal on paper to illustrate the seasonal story. Children see lots of white space until Oliver becomes lost. Then, the full-spread illustrations take on a darker palette to bring home the scariness of the situation. The happy ending is totally satisfying and will leave readers smiling.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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