Children’s Book of the Week: Ollie Forgot

Ollie Forgot by Tedd Arnold.

Oh, poor Ollie. He’s a nice boy, but apparently has short term memory issues. Plus he has that common problem of getting a little ditty stuck in his head, and then he absent-mindedly sings that song. But it keeps getting him into trouble. It all starts when he sings “Rain, rain, go away…” and a farmer who wants rain gets annoyed and yells at him, but yells at him in verse, and then that sticks in Ollie’s head (“I hope it rains a long, long while/and as it rains, I’ll sing and smile.”) Ollie pretty much gets beat up every where he turns because he keeps inadvertantly offending people (or mistakenly buying puppies), until the satisfying end, where he saves the day and remembers what he came to town for in the first place.

We first heard this as a Dial-a-Story, and the boys listened to it about seventy times a day. They like the book even better, and the little verses get stuck in their head too (Eli’s favorite page is the part about a minstrel, who “beat poor Ollie with his lute and shouted: ‘I’d give my coins, though they are few/if I could get my hands on you.'”)

I don’t know if this is an old story, but it reads like one. It’s a nice little tale, save for the nauseating continual reference to “a joint of beef.”

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