written by Lynn Jenkins; illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan
2017 (EK Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
"Gran knows nothing about treasure hunts!"
When Ollie receives a treasure map from his grandma, grand visions come to his brain. After all, she did say "It leads you to a treasure that can bring you happiness always." Could it be a shiny new truck? Maybe a video game or walkie talkies! Step one of the hunt instructs Ollie to find the tree with the biggest leaves and look up. When he lifts his head, Ollie sees the beauty of the blue sky. The next step leads him to the rose bushes where he sniffs a lovely smell and connects it to his grandma. This progression towards treasure also includes feeling the grass underneath his feet, hearing the splashing of water, and tasting a delectable strawberry. Throughout this adventure, Ollie's five senses have been greatly elevated. The final step is to lie on the ground and look up. He sees an envelope tied to a branch. Disappointment reigns as Ollie realizes the cardboard note in the envelope has no real material value. After throwing a brief temper tantrum, he notices writing on the back of the note. In the message Grandma asks Ollie how he felt after using each of his five senses. Stopping to think and contemplating Gran's wise final piece of advice, he realizes the greatness of this treasure.
I think this book is pretty smart. It weaves a lesson about what is really important in life through a sequence of the five senses. People like to advise us to stop and smell the roses. Well, Ollie's Treasure invites readers to use all of their senses to realize what can truly bring happiness. If I'm a preK or kindergarten teacher, I can use this book as part of a lesson on the five senses. 1st-3rd grade teachers could use it to work on finding the central message of a text. Come to your senses and find a copy of Ollie's Treasure.