Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs.
Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn't always the best fit.
Playing with the idea of finding one's place, Atkinson (Explorers of the Wild) introduces a puzzle piece named Oliver who is searching for where he belongs. Ideally, he'd be "part of something exciting" (Atkinson shows a puzzle of a pirate squid cackling over his treasure chest), "wild" (a green monster plays electric guitar in another puzzle), or "out of this world" (an astronaut unicorn sails through space). For his part, Oliver is a small, blue and orange puzzle piece, with eager eyes and a big, round head. Through a mix of dialogue and lightly punny narration, Atkinson follows Oliver's misguided efforts to force himself into various puzzles, creating obvious parallels to the way humans mold themselves to fit different social circles (though perhaps not using markers and tape, as Oliver does). Some of Oliver's realizations are overly earnest "If I can't be me, then what fun is it to fit in?" but the message is valuable, and the closing revelation that the seemingly disparate puzzles are part of a single giant one is a unexpectedly touching reminder that, whether space unicorn or monster musician, we're all in this together. Ages 3 7.