The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea
A&U Children’s 2021-2022
64pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet, but, despite their differences they are best friends who work together to solve mysteries.
This is a new graphic novel series for young readers transitioning from the basal readers of commercial reading schemes to less-controlled books offering a stepping stone to more complex “early chapter books”. Treml has endowed her characters with the usual charm so they appeal to her audience and Owl’s constant corny puns offer an introduction to this play on words as a humorous concept. Told as a continuous conversation primarily between Owl and Bea, and in contrast to her Sherlock Bones series, this one has blank backgrounds that therefore place the emphasis on the characters and what they are saying, another opportunity to explore the concept of how critical dialogue can be to carry the story as well as divulging the character’s natures as they share and show important messages about being nice.
Young readers will relate to and like Ollie and Bea, seeing parts of themselves in each, and those who met them in their first two adventures will be thrilled there are now two more available. Treml has a knack of combining her degree in environmental science with her illustrative ability to craft stories that have instant appeal to our youngest readers. including Wombat Big, Puggle Small, Ten Little Owls, Once I heard a wombat, One Very Tired Wombat , Colour for Curlews, Sleep Tight, Platypup, Roo Knows Blue, Ten Sleepy Sheep, and Let’s Go, Little Roo and there is something special about those who grew up with these stories now able to read her works themselves.