Review Blog

Mar 08 2017

Olivia's voice by Mike Lucas

cover image

Ill. by Jennifer Harrison. MidnightSun Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925227192
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Deafness. Disability. Sometimes books can be used to press home a point and these rarely work, but now and again a book is published that makes the readers aware of one person's disability with panache. This is no inclusivity driven tome, but rather a look at one girl and her particular way of dealing with her deafness.
With photographic realism, the pictures created are full of colour and life, inviting the reader to share Olivia's day.
When she gets up in the morning she loves looking at the beauty around her: the trees outside her window, the butterfly passing by. She notices the colour of the things on the table, she loves the warmth of her mother's face against hers, and then she is off to school with her friends, watching the shapes made by their mouths, joining with them clapping their hands. At school the teacher calls the roll, looking at Olivia as she calls her name. Olivia loves words and numbers and draws with the others in her class. But music is her favourite lesson and the children all know which instrument Olivia will go for.
A story full of life, love and covering all five senses, the fact that Olivia is deaf does not matter, she joins in with all activities both at home and school with enthusiasm and verve, shared by her family and school friends.
This is a charming look at one girl's day, concentrating on all the senses, it will be a great starting point for young readers learning about the senses they use everyday, how important they all are in shaping the world around them, and how the loss of one of those senses can be compensated with love and support.
Fran Knight

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