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Olga da Polga Gift Slipcase

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From the minute Olga arrives at her new home, she gathers all the other animals in the garden around and starts telling them exciting tales about the wild and wonderful adventures she's had. Sometimes the other animals aren't sure whether to believe her or not--but surely Olga wouldn't be making them up, would she? From the minute Olga arrives at her new home, she gathers all the other animals in the garden around and starts telling them exciting tales about the wild and wonderful adventures she's had. Sometimes the other animals aren't sure whether to believe her or not--but surely Olga wouldn't be making them up, would she?


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From the minute Olga arrives at her new home, she gathers all the other animals in the garden around and starts telling them exciting tales about the wild and wonderful adventures she's had. Sometimes the other animals aren't sure whether to believe her or not--but surely Olga wouldn't be making them up, would she? From the minute Olga arrives at her new home, she gathers all the other animals in the garden around and starts telling them exciting tales about the wild and wonderful adventures she's had. Sometimes the other animals aren't sure whether to believe her or not--but surely Olga wouldn't be making them up, would she?

30 review for Olga da Polga Gift Slipcase

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The Tales of Olga da Polga is an utterly charming children's book from 1971 by Michael Bond, an award-winning author more famous for his stories about Paddington Bear, who first made his appearance in 1958. These stories, however, all feature Olga da Polga, a self-important, mischievous and imaginative guinea pig, who loves telling wildly exaggerated tales about her experiences to her friends. We are introduced to Olga da Polga in the early part of her life, when she is one of many guinea pigs in The Tales of Olga da Polga is an utterly charming children's book from 1971 by Michael Bond, an award-winning author more famous for his stories about Paddington Bear, who first made his appearance in 1958. These stories, however, all feature Olga da Polga, a self-important, mischievous and imaginative guinea pig, who loves telling wildly exaggerated tales about her experiences to her friends. We are introduced to Olga da Polga in the early part of her life, when she is one of many guinea pigs in a pet shop. From the start it is clear that the stories comprise not only fantasy, but also accurate observation about how guinea pigs behave, and are cared for. Although it is written as a fantastical tale from an animal's point of view, it reveals a good insight into how and why this particular species (guinea pig or cavey) behaves. It would be a lovely and enjoyable read for a child who is about to become the owner of a guinea pig, as well as those who are already enthusiastic about animals. For children who love stories, this would be a perfect addition to a factual instructive primer. The housing, treatment and conditions Olga da Polga is kept in are ideal for a pet guinea pig, and clearly described as part of the story, and the animal's reactions to them are quite authentic. It comes as no surprise to the reader that Michael Bond owned three guinea pigs as a child himself, (called "Pip", "Squeak" and "Wilfred") and made up stories about them later to tell to his daughter. The character of Olga da Polga is herself based on a guinea pig belonging to Michael Bond's daughter Karen. The real life Karen also features in the book as the character Karen Sawdust, who understands Olga da Polga better than her parents do, kind though they are. It is Karen who notices things like the fact that Olga da Polga has written her name in her pen, so that her family should not call her by a different one. Also interesting, for anyone who keeps guinea pigs, is the fact that Michael Bond became great friends with Peter Gurney, when he treated Karen's guinea pig, who had been the inspiration for Olga da Polga. Peter Gurney has been acknowledged as one of the world's experts in guinea pig welfare and care, having campaigned for most of his life for better knowledge and training of small animals within the British veterinary profession. His excellent book, "The Proper Care of Guinea Pigs" is the benchmark for owners and breeders, and also some vets. Other characters in the tales are also possibly based on real life animals. There is Noel, Karen's pet black cat. Implausibly, he is Olga da Polga's friend, but otherwise, he behaves in the stories exactly as a cat would. He is sly, and because he is free to enter and leave the house as he pleases, the other animals consider him to be knowledgeable about how the world works. He is sceptical of Olga's Baron Münchhausen-like tales, claiming not to believe them, but he still often listens to them with great attention. Another main character is Graham, the tortoise, who dislikes being picked up and put upside down, just as Olga da Polga does. He is very slow, as tortoises are, but is shown to have a unique perspective on life. There is also Fangio, a hedgehog with Argentinian blood, who sometimes stays in a box in the Sawdust family's garage, being fed on bread and milk. He becomes a good friend of Olga da Polga, and invites her to break out of her confinement and experience "freedom". She visits his home in the "Elysian Fields", but in the course of doing so, realises just how different the two creatures are. She finds that his so-called paradise is just a patch of waste land beyond the shrubbery, dank, dark, dirty - and full of insects and worms, which she shudderingly discovers, Fangio loves. The Tales of Olga da Polga consists of thirteen short tales, with imaginative titles such as "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Guinea-Pig" and "The Night of the Moon Rockets". They are simply told, and school-age children would be soon able to read them for themselves. Alternatively, they are short enough to make ideal bedtime stories read aloud by an adult. In the edition reviewed here, from 2011, there are humorous pen and watercolour wash illustrations by Catherine Rayner, who reports that she herself loved the stories when she was a child. This collection was so popular when it was first published that it sparked a host of sequels, all of which you can be sure this reviewer will track down, and read with a big fat smile on her face. Michael Bond has been awarded the OBE for his services to children's literature. Catherine Rayner has been awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal for her picture books. They are well deserved. This book is a delight from start to finish. My personal favourite out of the stories is a so-called myth from Peru, invented by Olga da Polga. In it, she explains that in common with nearly all mammals, guinea pigs used to have tails. But due to a noble act (which I will not spoil by telling you about) they sacrificed them and were awarded their rosettes. Olga da Polga's rosettes are whimsically highlighted throughout Catherine Rayner's cartoon-like illustrations, all of which are beautifully quirky, and stylised. ""Wheeee! Wheeeeee! Wheeeeeeeee!" And really, there was nothing more to be said."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    From the author of Paddington, we follow a very special guinea-pig as she gets picked out at the pet shop and driven to a countryside home to live with the Sawdust family. There was a lot of heart in this story, Olga Da Polga was a very memorable character. I liked that we got to see two sides of her personality, her adventurous side, and her more vulnerable side. In each chapter, Olga Da Polga gets up to new adventures while making friends with the other Sawdust pets.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    "This book is awesome! I wish I could give it 100 stars. I like guinea pigs and I like the name Olga da Polga" -HK, age 5 "This is a really fun story that has a lot of fun pets that I like." - A, age 7 "This book is awesome! I wish I could give it 100 stars. I like guinea pigs and I like the name Olga da Polga" -HK, age 5 "This is a really fun story that has a lot of fun pets that I like." - A, age 7

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mehsi

    Well, this sounded much better than it actually was. It was mostly the fault of Olga herself. The story was decent, the idea was fun, but Olga was just a terrible character. Starting rumours, making up tall tales (which I truly didn't like and I was dreading them when they popped up), thinking she is so much more superior to anyone (and bragging about it), and much much more. I was so terribly glad for the humans that they didn't have to hear Olga's stories, but I felt sorry for the animals. Luck Well, this sounded much better than it actually was. It was mostly the fault of Olga herself. The story was decent, the idea was fun, but Olga was just a terrible character. Starting rumours, making up tall tales (which I truly didn't like and I was dreading them when they popped up), thinking she is so much more superior to anyone (and bragging about it), and much much more. I was so terribly glad for the humans that they didn't have to hear Olga's stories, but I felt sorry for the animals. Luckily, very luckily, Olga often got some backlash (in one way or another) for what she said or did. Sure, she was also interesting to read about, to see her live her life, to see her talk about the changing of seasons, to see her views on her home, to see her make friends with even the unlikeliest animals (cats). I also had a laugh that she would call the humans, Sawdust (Mr. or Ms. or Mrs.). Also why the hell would those people bind/wrap Holly, HOLLY around Olga's hutch? She could try to eat it and let me just tell you this is a bad idea. :| There are just some things you shouldn't put near your guinea pig. There are also illustrations, and I have to say those were the best part of the book. Olga looks absolutely adorable, and I just love how detailed the art is. So yeah, I was really looking forward to this one, because I love guinea pigs (and other rodents as well) and I just love it when books are about them. Sadly, this one was not meant to be. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tim Roast

    Olga da Polga is a 13-chapter book about a guinea-pig called Olga. The chapters tell the tale of life from a guinea-pig's point of view, from moving to a new home from the pet shop, to meeting the family pets and neighbourhood animals when there, to winning a rosette at a show, to getting lost from her hutch and so on. But the best bits are where she holds the other animals in awe as they gather around and listen to her tall tales. whether that be her souping up of her rather mundane adventures, Olga da Polga is a 13-chapter book about a guinea-pig called Olga. The chapters tell the tale of life from a guinea-pig's point of view, from moving to a new home from the pet shop, to meeting the family pets and neighbourhood animals when there, to winning a rosette at a show, to getting lost from her hutch and so on. But the best bits are where she holds the other animals in awe as they gather around and listen to her tall tales. whether that be her souping up of her rather mundane adventures, or her telling the stories of the history of the guinea-pig. Plus this being a book by Michael Bond, author of Paddington Bear, there is mention of Peru where Paddington also hailed from. This edition is a gift edition and as such is rather lavish. Along the way are watercolour and spray painted images of Olga and the other animals. Also it comes with a hard-cover and a dust-jacket with shiny writing on. So it certainly looks the part. Overall a well-produced book a much loved author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annika

    Will always be my favourite even though it's it's for people half my age Will always be my favourite even though it's it's for people half my age

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I liked this more than I thought I would. Talking animals not really my favorite. This is a story told by a pet guinea pig. The family, the Sawdusts, have many pets. It is very true to life. Nice twists. I was surprised when Olga da Polga went to visit Boris and a short time later had a family. Some wonderful stories here. Michael Bond is really wonderful. Glad I stumbled across this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    My 5-year-old Leo says, “I like it and I think I want another chapter. Is there anymore more? This book is about a guinea pig who can talk, and she has a friend who is a hedgehog and a cat. I liked the chapter where there she tells a lie how the guinea pigs touched the moon and get their squeaks.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Great book, that was funny and thoughtful. Captured the cheeky essence of Guinea Pigs.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Lovely little tales of a guinea pig.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Rizk

    Wholesome childrens book

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

    I first read this book at 9 but re-read it recently at 12 and still find it very funny and highly entertaining! I recommend this book to all guinea-pig lovers!!! 😉🙃😁

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bodkin

    Such a funny and cute book!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Toby Chapman

    Very good

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My son thought it was cute. Great character personality and perspective. Introduced some quintessential British terms.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    reading with my son. It's lovely to revisit something I remember as a child and I love that he an enjoy reading - although I think he'd rather be playig Lego or running about! reading with my son. It's lovely to revisit something I remember as a child and I love that he an enjoy reading - although I think he'd rather be playig Lego or running about!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kid Lit Reviews

    Olga da Polga began life, as best can tell, in a pet shop with a muddle of guinea pigs. Olga da Polga is sure she will go places, no matter what Old Sale or Return might say about humans and the world beyond their pet shop door. One day, Olga da Polga does leave, with a small girl named Karen, in one of those motor cars Olga da Polga has seen through the pet shop window. From this day forward, a new family, new friends, and new experiences will fill Olga da Polga’s life—and she is happy. Olga da Olga da Polga began life, as best can tell, in a pet shop with a muddle of guinea pigs. Olga da Polga is sure she will go places, no matter what Old Sale or Return might say about humans and the world beyond their pet shop door. One day, Olga da Polga does leave, with a small girl named Karen, in one of those motor cars Olga da Polga has seen through the pet shop window. From this day forward, a new family, new friends, and new experiences will fill Olga da Polga’s life—and she is happy. Olga da Polga is both the story of guinea pig Olga da Polga’s new life with the Sawdust family and thirteen complete, stand-alone stories disguised as chapters. A one-chapter short story is perfect for bedtime, even if read out-of-order. Bond writes in a whimsical, musical fashion, emitting a wave of wonder between his words. Olga da Polga, Noel, and Fangio are unique in character and voice. Each is a character to enjoy and each is memorable. To Continue Reading and View Interior Spreads, Go To: http://bit.ly/OlgaDaPolga

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ellice

    It could be argued I'm a sucker for books featuring sassy rodents. Still, Olga da Polga, an extraordinary guinea pig based on one the author bought for his daughter in 1965, is likely to win any reader over. She has a unique point of view on life, a penchant for telling tall tales to other animals, and a grudging tolerance for the humans (aka "Sawdust People") who take care of her. A delightful tale that makes me anxious to read the rest of the series. It could be argued I'm a sucker for books featuring sassy rodents. Still, Olga da Polga, an extraordinary guinea pig based on one the author bought for his daughter in 1965, is likely to win any reader over. She has a unique point of view on life, a penchant for telling tall tales to other animals, and a grudging tolerance for the humans (aka "Sawdust People") who take care of her. A delightful tale that makes me anxious to read the rest of the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yvensong

    Maybe 3 1/2 stars This book contains a group of charming tales of Olga da Polga, a guinea pig brought home by a young girl and her family. Olga has real adventures, tells some tall tales to the various animals that visit her, including a hedgehog, a tortoise and a cat and intermixed with the tales are some really good pointers about the proper way to care for a pet guinea pig.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    "The Tales of Olga da Polga" is as endearing as I remember from childhood. Good fun to read with my daughter, especially because she has two guinea pigs and appreciated the realism involved. One scary incident, where Olga is injured after being dropped, is treated quite seriously and Olga doesn't immediately recover form her injuries (a realistic outcome.) My daughter and I award Olga 4 stars. "The Tales of Olga da Polga" is as endearing as I remember from childhood. Good fun to read with my daughter, especially because she has two guinea pigs and appreciated the realism involved. One scary incident, where Olga is injured after being dropped, is treated quite seriously and Olga doesn't immediately recover form her injuries (a realistic outcome.) My daughter and I award Olga 4 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I remember it from childhood. After I read it I wanted a guinea pig but my parents say no :( I really loved this kind of stories when I was a little and I still appreciate them - they shaped me and my moral and ethical spine. Old books/stories had a soul - something which it's hard to find nowdays, sadly. I remember it from childhood. After I read it I wanted a guinea pig but my parents say no :( I really loved this kind of stories when I was a little and I still appreciate them - they shaped me and my moral and ethical spine. Old books/stories had a soul - something which it's hard to find nowdays, sadly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This isn't the right book. The book I read was published in 2015 (same author), with a different cover. It is about a guinea pig who tells stories- she can talk to her animal friends but not her human friends. She has trouble getting the human friends to understand that she already has a name, but she figures out a way. There is a cat who seems to play a villain role but ends up okay in the end. This isn't the right book. The book I read was published in 2015 (same author), with a different cover. It is about a guinea pig who tells stories- she can talk to her animal friends but not her human friends. She has trouble getting the human friends to understand that she already has a name, but she figures out a way. There is a cat who seems to play a villain role but ends up okay in the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gayle

    I no longer have this book, lost to the great water/shed disaster of the mid 90's. I loved it and I'm pretty sure there was a t.v show as well, or am I getting confused with Hammy Hamster? Not sure, but I must find a copy for my niece. I no longer have this book, lost to the great water/shed disaster of the mid 90's. I loved it and I'm pretty sure there was a t.v show as well, or am I getting confused with Hammy Hamster? Not sure, but I must find a copy for my niece.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

    This is a funny little book about a spunky little guinea pig who wants adventure but not too much. She is a very interesting character and kids who have guinea pigs will no doubt recognize some of the guinea pig behaviors and infer about how the guinea pig they know is very much like Olga.

  25. 5 out of 5

    E.L.

    Ages when first read: 5 and 4. I think they would have loved this if Daddy had read it to them. As it came from Mommy, they got bored. Looking forward to trying them on Paddington, see if that's more to their taste. Ages when first read: 5 and 4. I think they would have loved this if Daddy had read it to them. As it came from Mommy, they got bored. Looking forward to trying them on Paddington, see if that's more to their taste.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gianna Mosser

    Ok, Olga is no Paddington, but Bond has a gift for making very humanlike animals. Olga is boastful, eccentric, and known for a tall tale, and a missing one. Very sweet collection. Sad it never stayed in circulation.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Outi

    I'm not a fan of guinea pigs or any types of rodent but Olga da Polga sure did charm me! Rayners illustrations made the book seem somehow cozy and safe. I liked how the chapters were little stories and how inventive the chapters were. I'm not a fan of guinea pigs or any types of rodent but Olga da Polga sure did charm me! Rayners illustrations made the book seem somehow cozy and safe. I liked how the chapters were little stories and how inventive the chapters were.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer B.

    Any book starring guinea pigs gets 5 stars from me! This was really cute and funny. I read it aloud to the guinea pigs in my life and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, them or myself. A definite for piggy lovers! Any book starring guinea pigs gets 5 stars from me! This was really cute and funny. I read it aloud to the guinea pigs in my life and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, them or myself. A definite for piggy lovers!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Philip Martin

    Olga da Polga is a well fleshed out character for a Guinea pig and the story is a bit of a time capsule of life 49yrs ago. Story would follow the first term up to Xmas very well as a class book for y3/4. Might make a nice alternative to Dahl too

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Can't star it as I didn't get to read all the chapters yet (some me, some Daddy). But finally a chapter book that is good to read to just turned four year old without scaring him or going over his head. Have to look up Paddington now. Can't star it as I didn't get to read all the chapters yet (some me, some Daddy). But finally a chapter book that is good to read to just turned four year old without scaring him or going over his head. Have to look up Paddington now.

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