Kids will hold their favorite toy a little tighter as they follow William Joyce's tale of two lifelong companions, suddenly torn apart and determined to get back together. OLLIE'S ODYSSEY takes its title character, a handmade stuffed toy, and his boy, 6-year-old Billy, to dark, scary places in the course of their adventures, brought to life by Joyce's clever prose and colorful illustrations that range from cute to creepy. It also offers strong messages about kindness, bravery, teamwork, loyalty, doing the right thing, and never forgetting those you love. While the story's human protagonist is 6 years old, its emotional terrain is complex and sometimes treacherous as Billy grapples with deep issues, such as the difference between real life, pretending, and just plain lying and the wrongness of forgetting what's important:
"The kid was so sad that Billy felt sorry for her. Really sorry. Almost as sorry as he felt for the lost dog he saw one day when he was riding somewhere with his parents. They were in a whole different neighborhood, and the dog wanted to cross the street but was scared and shivering and skinny, and Billy yelled at his dad to stop the car so they could help the dog. But his dad said the dog would be fine. Billy wasn't so sure about that. And he thought that maybe grown-ups pretended, too. But that grown-up pretending seemed more like lying than pretending sometimes. Billy still worried about that dog. Even though he'd only glimpsed it for a few seconds, Billy knew he would never forget it. Not even when he was super old, like fifty. Or maybe even older. He would remember that poor, skinny dog forever."