Review: Olympig by Victoria Jamieson


Olympig by Victoria Jamieson

Boomer has decided to be the first pig ever to compete in the Animal Olympics and gained attention of the news.  He practiced hard and at night dreamt of Olympic victory.  The next day, he lined up for the race against cheetahs, rabbits, and greyhounds.  He lost, of course, much to the delight of the news.  Boomer was heart broken until he realized he had other events to compete in.  He lost at weightlifting, hurdles, high jump, wrestling and more.  Then came the diving event, and Boomer knew that he had the best dive in the animal world: the cannonball!  But even then, he lost!  Boomer quit before the final event, storming off the field.  But then he saw his mother on the news saying how special he was and how much she loved him.  So he put on his costume for the final event, and off he went!

Jamieson portrays Boomer as an eternal optimist, someone who has been told that all it takes to succeed is to practice and do your best.  Unfortunately, it sometimes takes some natural talent too.  But Boomer remains that optimist.  He may get bruised and battered, but bounces back.  Jamieson has created an underdog that everyone will be rooting for, but who is also doomed to fail. 

The illustrations are done in a silly, cartoon style.  Jamieson creates engaging pairings for each event: Boomer weightlifts against an elephant, jumps against a flying squirrel and dives against a seal.  Adding to the jolly feel of the book are the endpages that have a silhouette of a round pig doing a range of Olympic events.  They have just the right feel, mocking the Olympic signage.

Silly and yet heart warming, this picture book is nicely timed with the Summer Olympics and will be enjoyed by all of us who yearn to be Olympic victors but just aren’t built for it.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books for Young Readers.