We all know that opinions, no matter the topic, are subjective. Book reviews are simply opinions of one or more persons and therefore prone to that same subjectivity. However, when a consensus is reached, that subjectivity tends to become something you can trust. I’m happy to report that to date, I’ve not received a bad review for Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, Olive and The Big Stream, and/or Olive Goes for a Wild Ride.
There are lots of reviews over on Amazon.com, but let’s be honest: many (though not all) of those reviews are from people I know who did me the favor of posting their reviews to drive traffic in that direction. While certainly I appreciate their time and support, any savvy person knows that these types of reviews are solicited. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the reviewers are being objective and honest. By the way, I like what’s been said about Olive on Amazon! 😉
More valuable perhaps are reviews by people with whom I have no previous relationship. They don’t know me from the next stranger who asks them to review a book, so they are going to be objective in their assessment of my work. As they should be–it’s their job to give their honest feedback.
The following are excerpts from previous reviews, by people I do not know, of the Olive books. You can find some the full reviews on the REVIEWS page of the Olive website.
“The child in your life will love these fun stories where flies come to life and fight just as hard as anglers for that feisty wild trout.” Trout magazine, Spring 2008
“They’re delightful, they’re entertaining, and they contain an important message for kids: respect our resources. Kirk Werner’s two new books arrived in the mail last week and we were simply amazed by the talent they display…beautifully illustrated and written, they show great imagination and real knack for storytelling.” Midcurrent, January 30, 2008
“Werner supplies plenty of fly-fishing vocabulary and techniques to Olive and her readers, but always with joy and wonder. By presenting Olive’s lessons in a visually charming manner and easy-to-understand language, Werner latches onto children’s imaginations, and carries them into a new and exciting world. Both parents and children will enjoy these books.” Native Fish Society, December 2007
“…Playing off goofy fly names–like zonker, yellow sally, and gold-ribbed hare’s ear–author and angler Kirk Werner (’85 Comm.) creates a world of flies-in-training whose only goal is to catch fish. The bright illustrations and lively adventures appeal to young readers, while they learn about the tricks and techniques of flyfishing.” Washington State Magazine, Winter 2009
“There are many ways to pass along the love of the outdoors and one is this wonderful series of children’s books by Kirk Werner...Whether you have a family lured by the appeal of flyfishing or not, this series of books will get young readers hooked on the outdoors and reading…These books are truly unique in that they introduce young readers to the sport of flyfishing in an entertaining way. As somebody with no experience or interest in flyfishing, I found these books fun to read, educational, and entertaining. The bright and colorful illustrations are amazing and so much fun to view.” Examiner.com, July 15, 2009
“The story is a delight and clearly explains what fishing flies are and how they are used for different kinds of fishing. The illustrations are amusing while capturing the personalities of the different flies. Werner is commended for creating a great book for children to learn about fly fishing. I learned a lot and I know young fisherpeople will also.” MyShelf.com, February 2008
“Kirk Werner has found a niche in juvenile literature and filled nicely. As in any good story for kids, there is a moral; persevere and you will succeed. What the author does, however, goes well beyond telling a simple tale with a moral. He takes the concept of catch and release fly fishing and turns it into a story that children and parents/grandparents will enjoy reading together. The illustrations are beautiful and will engage youngsters in the story. Werner gets his message about the joy of catching fish and releasing them so they can be caught again by others across very well.” TCM Reviews, March 2008
“Is there a more noble and worthy endeavor in this world than inspiring kids to read, and at the same time, tuning them into the world of fly fishing? That’s what author Kirk Werner is doing with his catchy series of books for young readers based on his “Olive the Little Woolly Bugger” character. Wonderfully illustrated and smartly written, these three books offer a keen balance of entertainment and educational value (they were a hit with my 9 year-old son). Given the intense interest in fostering interest in fly fishing among kids, this series is certainly work including in a shop’s book section.” Angling Trade, December 2009
All three books were also given some very nice coverage on page 62 of Fly Fusion magazine (volume 7 issue 2, Spring 2010).