Moral issues in: "Where Oliver Fits"

By Tori Hamilton, Children's Library Associate, Glenpool Library

Illustrator and animator Cale Atkinson has given us a winner with "Where Oliver Fits," a story of finding friendship and acceptance. In it, Oliver, a puzzle piece, tries to find the place where he fits in. He wants to part of an awesome picture, but when he doesn't fit into any of the pictures he knows, he tries to alter himself to fit them.

That doesn't work out. Only when he accepts himself is he able to find the perfect place in the picture for him.

Atkinson's illustrations are as charming as a big-budget animated features, full of bright colors and varied characters, as each puzzle piece has a unique appearance and personality. There's a lot to see here: the way the puzzle pieces come together to form the pictures is a real feast for the eyes. Children will also enjoy the variety of ways, some quite hilarious, that Oliver attempts to change his shape, including covering himself with Legos, wearing fake mustaches, and tying what appears to be a hamster on his head.

But beneath this simple, kid-friendly story lies a powerful message. Children (and adults) spend so much time wondering what they can do to belong, occasionally feeling out of place and wondering how they can change themselves to fit a given situation. "Where Oliver Fits" proclaims that the answer lies not in changing oneself but in choosing to just be yourself.

It may take time to find your perfect fit, but it's out there, and, like Oliver, you will find it.

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