Posted in Book review, Books, Children's Literature, Illustrations, Reading, Reading Challenge 2021

Reading Challenge 2021: Oskar’s Quest – Annika Perry

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you’re all well and are getting into the Easter spirit 🐣! I’m thoroughly enjoying my Easter break – reading plenty, spending time with my family (my support bubble), in the garden and spending time soaking up the warmer days. I seem to have got my writing mojo back so whilst I appreciate it is now April, I have a couple of posts I need to catch up with. Today’s post is the book I chose to read for the reading challenge. The focus for March was: Read a book that was gifted to you. If you’d like to catch up or take part in my reading challenge, please click here for more information. I’m sure all my avid reader blogging friends get books for birthdays, Christmas and then when you decide to treat yourself… or is that just me? Anyway, I had the perfect book in mind for this month from my dear friend, Annika Perry. Those of you who have seen my blog will remember that a couple of years ago, I blogged about Annika’s first book, The Storyteller Speaks. You can see this post here. Annika is a blogger who was here from day one of my journey and I’ve been so honoured to be a part of her writing journey. You can find her wonderful blog here. I was privileged to receive a copy of Oskar’s Quest, Annika’s second book. I can’t wait to share this with you all today.

What’s it all about?

This children’s book hits all the right notes. It’s about courage, kindness and friendship – all the ingredients for a meaningful and happy life and all the lessons we teach children and young people today. There is a simple premise behind the book but it stands for so much more which is why it personally appeals to me as an adult. Oskar is a blue bird who finds himself on Roda, a little lost. This mysterious island is filled with beautiful flowers and interesting creatures but Oskar is afraid. He sees the red bell-flowers and notices they look lonely.

‘The flower nodded sadly as one more leaf drifted to the ground. A drop of water followed.’

The reason for all the sadness is because their songbird, Maya has been taken by Drang, the darkest cloud in the sky. What can Oskar possibly do? He’s just a little blue bird. He decides he wants to be brave and help. He makes the decision to go to Drang and ask for her back. After all, the island needs her beautiful music to bring them happiness once again. But he can hear the fear and the names inside his head. This doesn’t deter him, he will get the songbird back. As he gets closer to the cloud, the worse the weather is. He has to really hold his nerve and be the bravest bird he’s ever possibly been.

‘Maya opened her golden beak but stopped, swallowed her screech and hiccuped loudly. Her body trembled with fear and hope.’

Drang booms and bangs and scares both the birds. However, he is misunderstood. He saw the happiness of the other birds and felt left out. He has no friends so he thought that by taking Maya, she could make him happy too. But she stopped singing and cried instead making Drang cry too. It was this that caused the terrible weather! Oskar’s bravery and kindness meant that they could all head back to the island together and be friends there.

‘At her words, all the birds, flowers and trees of Roda sang a song of celebration. The music made Drang so happy he could not help but shed a few tears of joy.’

Oskar has to return home where he hears the calls again, mocking him for being scared. Yet this time was different because he was not scared and because he had new friends. He was a much braver bird than he was before. Rather than act in nastiness towards the birds, he invites them to join them on their new adventures.

Final Thoughts
There’s a real art to writing children’s books and I think Annika has produced an excellent one. It teaches us that we can be brave and we can use kindness to defeat anything. It’s also made me reflect back to my own childhood and how I could have done things differently, if only I were a bit more brave. The illustrations are also stunning and support the story wonderfully. I naturally loved Oskar and Maya’s illustrated beauty was matched perfectly to the writing about her. I am really in awe of Gabrielle Vickery’s drawings.

This book fulfils my criteria for this month perfectly because it is a treasured gift and it always will be. I have read this book three times now and it’s magical with each read. Annika really knows how to keep her audience entertained whilst also teaching them that kindness, bravery and friendship mean the world. Adult or child – read this book. Felling sad or lost – read this book. Gift it to anyone that has ever been afraid fo anything. Thank you so much, Annika. ♥️

See you all next time for my round up post. Take care all and HAPPY EASTER.

Big love xxx

Author:

“From that moment on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again.”

109 thoughts on “Reading Challenge 2021: Oskar’s Quest – Annika Perry

  1. Charley, wow! 😀😀 Heartfelt thank you for your wonderful review! 🙏My face is hurting from smiling so much! I’m so touched how you capture Oskar on his adventures and you relay the themes perfectly. Your words about my writing mean more than you know and I’m overjoyed you liked the book so much. I’m forwarding this to Gabrielle as I know she will very much appreciate your comments about her illustrations. She worked tirelessly on the project and wanted and managed to bring my visions to life throughout the book. I feel honoured by your detailed and thoughtful review and it’s wonderful to know that you feel the magic of ‘Oskar’s Quest’ with each reading.

    Wishing you a very Happy Easter – enjoy, my dear friend! Xx ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Marje, thank you! Charley writes the most amazing reviews and manages to capture the essence of books in wonderful loving detail! I’m honoured she choose mine to share here! ❤️

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  2. Charley, I have greatly enjoyed your wonderful review of ‘ Oskar’s Quest’. It is truly a deeply emotional book and fun as well. I can see why you feel both children and adults will enjoy it.
    I have read this book and highly recommend it. Treat a child and yourself whilst reading.

    Miriam

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Awww … Miriam, I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed my book and thank you so much for your fabulous support! Charley’s reviews are a real treat and I always look forward to sitting down, reading them, savouring them! When I saw she had decided to share my children’s book I was overjoyed and feel very lucky! Hope you’re having a lovely week, my dear friend! Xx

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  3. Reblogged this on Annika Perry and commented:
    A review from Charley at booksandbakes1 is like seeing my own book anew! Her insight and detailed analysis of ‘Oskar’s Quest’ is extraordinary and has me twirling with joy in my studio!

    Comments are closed on my reblog here but I look forward to catching up with you all on her wonderful blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations to Annika for the wonderful review of her children’s book! My understand is that writing a good children’s book is very difficult, which makes Annika’s achievement all the more special.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Liz, you can imagine my surprise and joy as I read Charley’s review! At times I had to remind myself this was actually my book she was describing in such fantastic and thoughtful detail. What I found with writing this book was that editing was harsher than anything I’ve ever done before or since. The story originally was twice as long, far too wordy for a children’s book. As all writer’s know every word has to count, but even more so in a children’s story. It came to the extent I became paranoid about each and every word … by the end, I was dreaming of the words! Thank you so much for your lovely comment & support! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT !! Actually, I just bought a charming little children’s book yesterday with my husband (we don’t have any kids yet), just because of what a wonderful story it was and what sweet illustrations it had in it. The best kinds of children’s books are the ones that adults enjoy, as well. Well done, Annika! I never knew that you were a book author, as well, when I subscribed a few weeks ago. This is a delight to find out!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah! I LOVE the fact you and your husband bought a children’s book – although you don’t have any children yet. 😀 That just shows the magic they convey to readers of any age! I still think some of my favourite books are ones I read as young and to my son when he was little. I was keen to write a story of my own to pass on this wonderful joy of reading a children’s book, sharing with a young child possibly, all whilst enjoying the images too! Yep, I am an author and started my blog whilst writing my first novel; my first published book was a short story collection mentioned by Charley above (which she kindly reviewed as well – thank you, Charley!) Happy Writing & Reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is wonderful, Annika! And I agree completely. Can I have the link to your book? :)) I have a few baby cousins that will be in the need for some new good books!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s great! Thank you! The link to the paperback edition is here:

        There is a Kindle version also available but please check out the ‘available on these devices’ section to make sure it is compatible if you are interested in the ebook!

        Thank you so much for your interest in Oskar’s Quest and enjoy reading the book with your little cousins! Xx

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    1. Barbara, I was so happy to see it too! 😀 Charley is a natural and gifted book reviewer – I’m overjoyed to read her wonderful thoughts about Oskar’s Quest here! You both are my go-to for book suggestions!😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Robbie, I’m so sorry that your ebook version would not open. There is a list underneath the reading age in small print explaining on which devices it will work. Not helpful though. You should get a full refund from Amazon and hope this has come through for you. Thank you so much for your interest in Oskar’s Quest – it means a lot to me. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, Annika. No worries, I just want to read the book. It sounds wonderful and I’m always looking out for books for Coco Rose. She is so keen on books it is very gratifying to a bookworm like me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacqui, how true that children’s books are just as much for adults too! 😀 One positive result of writing and publishing Oskar’s Quest was my ‘excuse’ to research (ie read!) lots of new children’s book for formatting, paging, images etc – heaven! Enjoy my book when you have a chance to read it!

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  6. I’m not surprised at all that Annika wrote such a beautiful story. She has a way with words and the imagination to match. As I read this, I realized that I don’t have this book. Amazon is being cranky this morning, so I added it to my wish list and will try again later. Thanks for sharing your lovely gift and review of the book, Charley. Congrats Annika!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bless you, Diana, for your kind comment and I’m chuffed you wish to read my book! 😀 That would be wonderful! 😀 Charley’s reviews are fantastic and I love the detail she picks out along the way, sharing quotes and her thoughts before the final wrap! A huge undertaking and I truly appreciate all her hard work!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I love the ‘grownup kids’ phrase, Darlene – it is fantastic if one never loses this childlike wonder even as an adult! 😀 I’m so happy Charley reviewed the book and loved seeing it through her eyes! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Bette! I’m overjoyed with Charley’s review! You are right that a children’s book does not stop once the book is read rather the conversations thereafter are just as important. My son and I still fondly recall some of his favourites and their messages! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Balroop, I know!! 😀 It is amazing and I’m haven’t stopped smiling! 😀Charley puts so much work and thought into her reviews and it is a joy to read how the book has touched her! It’s great that you want to check the book out when you have a chance. Enjoy, my friend! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jan, I love Charley’s wonderful, detailed & insightful book reviews – the inclusion of excerpts works brilliantly and so beautifully presented. It is an honour to have my book reviewed by her!

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    1. Mary Ann, bless you for your lovely comment … thank you for all your support and friendship here on WP! Your poetry is always uplifting and thought-provoking and the photos brighten my days! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Annika, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your friendship on WP is valued! I believe in having a positive outlook in life. My glass is half full. My artist’s eye sees differently so I try to take photos from another perspective. Have a great rest of your week. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this wonderful review of Oskar’s Quest. I have read this lovely book and highly recommend it. Annika’s writing is magical, effortlessly pulling the reader into her imaginative world. Congratulations, Annika! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luanne, I know the feeling! When my son grew out of picture books I would still browse through these in the library as he chose his fiction novels! I’m smiling at Charley’s suggestion – that’s always a possibility! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I still have my children’s book collection from when I taught “children’s lit.” Always hoping for grandchildren! When I do, I will be adding to my collection, starting right here!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for introducing Charlie to me, Annika.

    Nice to meet you, Charlie. I LOVE “Oskar’s Quest” and I know it almost by heart. I have read it many times to my grandchildren. Everything about this book makes me smile, and especially seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when they now help read the book. This is a wonderful review and I have subscribed to your blog. I look forward to exploring, reading and learning more about you, Charlie.🙂 Erica

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    1. Erica, it’s wonderful how you and your grandchildren have connected to ‘Oskar’s Quest’ — every author’s dream to know their book is treasured by readers. Thank you so much!❤️

      Erica, I hope you have a bookshelf with lots of space! 😀 Charley has recommended so many books to me I’ve lost count and I’m soon going to start ‘Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS ‘by Michael Rosen which she reviewed recently. It promises to be very special. A lovely and friendly blogger and glad you have both ‘met’ up! The community of WordPress is truly precious. hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful and thank you! 😀 The review is amazing and means so much to me and yeah, glad you found the sound of the book enthralling, You’re right in that writing a book and releasing for publication is a massive undertaking and a children’s book has its own unique challenges – loved them all!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Vashti, Charley’s reviews are gems and it’s wonderful how she brings books alive through her thoughts and excerpts from them. Yeah! It’s great you like the cover and art work … it was almost surreal watching my ideas of the story come to life through Gabrielle’s work! I can’t imagine Oskar and his friends any other way!😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds like a wonderful read. I love the underlying message of not judging a book by its cover (so to speak :)). The illustrations you shared here are amazing! Congrats to Annika on creating a beautiful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacquie, it’s wonderful that you’re taken with the story and illustrations – the latter just as important in a children’s book, I feel! Garbrielle caught Oskar and the others beautifully! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Hope you’re having a great Sunday! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a wonderful, detailed, and insightful review of Annika’s book Oskar’s Quest, Charley. I read about how Annika read this story to her son, and she was creative and read it differently every time and this eventually became a book everyone could read to the little ones. I must admit I’m behind in my reading. I have both of Annika’s books on my Kindle and must catch up with my reading.

    Congratulations, Annika on such an excellent review. I’m so happy to read this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam, I am most impressed with your memory! 😀 So many writers have created their first draft of a chidren story whilst reading it to their own son/daughter … it has been amazing to see Oskar’s Quest into publication. Oh, I am overwhelmed with this review and so appreciative of Charley’s detailed and throughtful words! Thank you for sharing in my joy of it and enjoy my books when you have a chance – I totally understand and feel my Kindle groaning with books!

      Like

  11. What a beautiful review of Annika’s book…. And a glowing testament to Annika’s skill as a writer… Listening to your own words of the review… I am wishing I had younger grandchildren to read it too..
    Many thanks for sharing Annika’s talent… And well done to Annika…. much love my friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless, Sue, thank you so much for your wonderful comment … I’m beaming with joy reading your words! I can relate to wishing one had younger children/ grandchildren when seeing books for young ones … Wishing you a joyful and peaceful weekend, Sue! xx ❤️

      Charley, hope the first week back to school hasn’t been too stressful and have a great break this weekend! xx😀

      Liked by 1 person

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