Oliver’s Tree is a straight forward story of how a couple of friends (Lulu and Charlie) try and help their elephant friend (Oliver) play in the trees like they do. After all, there is a reason that elephants do not climb trees. This is a cute, fun and sweetly illustrated book. There is not a lot of “meat” to it, but there is the perfect amount of story and adventure for the toddler set. I enjoyed Lulu’s Party, and have not yet read Charlie’s Boat, but know there is another gem I could find if I wanted to in the Playtime with Friends grouping of books. And while I was not a huge fan of Bubbles (not part of this series), it is also in Kit Chase’s signature style that makes her work friendly for all ages and accessible to everyone. Chase has an ear and eye for the picture book genre.
The best part of the book is near the end when our elephant friend finds a particularly interesting looking item to sit on. The adult will see quickly what it looks like and it is not just a seat for a sad elephant or a bed for a very tired elephant. Of course, the child innocence of his friends also can see the perfect solution so all of them can still play together.
I enjoyed Oliver’s Tree due to the fact there is a lot of details but is not overpowering at the same time. The colors are bright and friendly. There is a story within them and compliment the text as well.