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Ordinary Oscar
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K-Gr 2-Oscar Slimeglider is an unhappy snail, "tired of sleeping all day....fed up with eating all night....bored with being greenish-grayish-brownish." He dreams of being famous, so he consults the Wise Old Snail, who says that Oscar is going to need some magic to be a star, since he has no talents. The Fairy Godsnail grants him three wishes. He asks to be beautiful, but that makes him appetizing to a hungry bird. He requests that he be bigger than the bird, but he ends up bigger than "six buses glued together" and everyone is afraid of him. His last wish is to be ordinary again and return to his old life. Oscar finds that he can be famous by doing something heroic to help another creature. Children will be delighted by the exuberant illustrations. The narrative is less stimulating than the artwork, but the message is clear. This thin story could be used as a discussion-starter about what makes people heroes, combined with books about individuals whose fame derives from their inner values and leadership.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Oscar Slimeglider, the young snail at the center of this peppy British import, is "tired of sleeping all day," "fed up with eating all night," and "bored with being greenish-grayish-brownish." When he tells the Wise Old Snail that he longs to be famous, the sage counsels him that being famous "isn't always easy" and tells Oscar how to summon the Fairy Godsnail. Decked out in a pink polka-dotted frock, the Godsnail grants him three wishes, advising him to "choose carefully." Not surprisingly, he doesn't. Wishing for fame, he's transformed into a "marvelous mollusk" with a colorful striped shell, bow tie, and star-shaped glasses-all with foil accents-and immediately catches the attention of a hungry bird. After a second misadventure straight out of a Godzilla film, the snail wishes he were "just ordinary Oscar again," though a faux newspaper, the Daily Snail, reveals that Oscar has a bit of extraordinary in him after all. Perhaps fittingly, this is a fairly ordinary tale of learning to be happy with oneself, but one that's sprinkled with humorous lines and images throughout. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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