or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

5 star Review: Olive Goes for a Wild Ride

After two, 5 star reviews  by Jason Kirkfield on Amazon.com, I was not assuming that the third and remaining review would be a slam-dunk. Therefore, when the final review came in for the third book in the Olive series, I breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, I have confidence in my writing and story telling, but book reviews are still very much a subjective endeavor so you just never know. For me personally, the third book is my favorite (although that matters not to anyone else who reads the series). Mr. Kirkfield picked up on a subtlety that hasn’t been noted before, but is certainly worth mentioning.  It has to do with the maturation process for Olive the woolly bugger. Over the course of the first two books, Olive is the student. In the third, she becomes teacher. That’s how it is in fly fishing and in life. I’m pleased that the reviewer mentioned this. Characters must grow, and over the course of the stories, Olive does just that.

Having previously reviewed his first and second books, I knew that Kirk Werner had to do something special to maintain the same high level of awesomeness. He did.

Olive is, for anyone unfamiliar with the first two books, a woolly bugger. The author-illustrator’s skill at drawing fishing flies who can emote is impressive. (Whether or not they can molt is another question altogether!)

Olive Goes for a Wild Ride is the final entry in the Olive series*, at least for now. Even if Kirk’s dreams of seeing Olive on the big screen do not materialize, I hope we will see more of his hooked heroine in future books. Symbolically, he has ended this series by illustrating (both literally and figuratively) the circle of life.

Olive’s task here is aided by the hugely likable form of Clark, the small fry. Olive’s fly friends play a much smaller role in this book, perhaps emphasizing the maturing process as Olive gets older and begins to rely more on herself. Olive Goes for a Wild Ride is by far the scariest of all three books. Where the first addressed anxiety in a new school setting, and the second challenged the flies to catch real fish for the first time, this adventure has Olive lost at sea, or at least a river. Rest assured: all is well in the end. Still, I might suggest parents read through initially to best anticipate the story arc. You may also want to prepare your child for the inevitable questions that will follow. This book addresses some very real emotions and topics, even death. If your child is too young for such conversations, you could always enjoy the first two Olive books for now and save the third for when they are a little older.

“But don’t be sad–that’s just the way life is.” (Olive, final page)

* I also reviewed both previous titles in the series, Olive the Little Woolly Bugger and Olive and the Big Stream.


To read the review on Amazon and to see all other reviews by Jason Kirkfield, go HERE.

1 Comment

  1. Vivian Kirkfield

    Kirk, you are 5 star in anyone’s book…
    The reviewer’s suggestion that parents read through the book before sharing it with their children is very important…parents should really do this before reading ANY book with their kids. Sometimes, a topic can be introduced or verbiage used that may need to be modified by the parent…it pays to have a heads-up before you start. 🙂
    Congratulations, Kirk, on praise well deserved!

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