Hello, friends! Our book today is Where Oliver Fits by Cale Atkinson, a fantastic story of finding where you fit without compromising who you are.
Oliver is a puzzle piece, and like all puzzle pieces, he’s excited to find where he fits. He certainly hopes he’ll be a part of a super-awesome, exciting puzzle, but when he tries to fit into all the cool puzzles, they reject him. “Not enough red!” they say, or “too round, not square enough”. Oliver is sad, so he comes up with an idea: he will change the way he looks and is shaped so that he can fit in. But no matter what, he still stands out from the rest of the pieces, and they tease him away. Finally, in desperation, Oliver changes absolutely everything about himself, and finally finds an amazing puzzle to fit into. But when he sees his fellow pieces teasing other different-looking pieces, Oliver takes a hard look at himself and wonders: if he has to change everything about who he is to fit in, is it even still him anymore?
Fantastic. Using the wonderful puzzle piece metaphor, Atkinson teaches a valuable lesson in when the price of “fitting in” becomes a burden. It’s a story that assures readers that changing who you are to be part of the cool kids is ultimately quite empty, and may even limit your opportunities for finding your people. The last page is especially meaningful, reminding children that to make a complete, beautiful puzzle, every piece is important, including you – a poignant metaphor for “it gets better”. The art is wonderful, full of bright colors and fun visuals that kept JJ fascinated throughout. It’s a great length, and a vital reminder for little ones that, while it may take time, they WILL find where they feel – and make others feel – complete. Baby Bookworm approved!