Book Review, "Oliver Button is a Sissy"
Written by: Tomie DePaola
Reviewed By: Julia Ransohoff,
high school student writer
Oliver is an elementary-school boy who enjoys activities associated with girls, rather than more "masculine" activities. This makes him the target of bullying and ridicule. Rejecting his parents' pleas for him to participate in sports and exercise, Oliver prefers to scavenge through his attic, finding fabulous costumes.
To meet his parents' request for him to exercise, Oliver begins tap dance lessons and finds his passion. After entering a local talent show, attended by the same children who ridiculed him, he wins the positive attention of both his friends and his parents.
Oliver Button is a Sissy is a short read with a plot line that is easy to follow and fairly predictable. The author conveys the message that one can and should be free to express their interests and resist the pressure to conform.
The overall view and outcome of the story are positive, and this book can be a tool to help young children learn to accept differences in others and express what makes them unique.
I recommend reading this story with a child and discussing its overall meaning and how the message can be applied to daily life.
Back to top
Reviewed By: Nancy Brown, Ph.D.
Last Reviewed: October 2013