Sunday, February 14, 2016

Oscar is Different

by Margot Finke

Illustrated by Ioana Zdralea
Here is another great book by one of my favorite children's author, Margot Finke. The theme of “Oscar is Different,” is one that will resonate strongly with special needs kids. But any kid who feels “different” from his or her schoolmates will appreciate the pain that Oscar feels when he is socially ostracized from his fellow Aussie animals. It’s because he is lumped with all Tasmanian devils (TD). Oscar is labeled mean, nasty, ugly, even wicked. He is guilty by association because of his appearance and the actions of others. He has to prove he is not like other TDs. Oscar is kind, generous, and caring. That is a good kind of different-ness.

Ms. Finke's lovely new picturebook, “Oscar is Different” is beautifully illustrated by Ioana Zdralea. The animals are realistic but also animated humorously. The Aussie critters and the scenery are so realistic and vivid, you'll feel like you are right there with Oscar. Ms. Zdrlea also illustrated Ms. Finke’s “Dreamtime Man,” a serious look back in time at the Aboriginal Australian Outback, brought to life in beautiful images.

In the back of “Oscar is Different,” Ms. Finke has included resources for families of children who may feel they are different. These children may be excessively shy, may seem to have no friends, hide a lot, or are upset before and after school. There may be obvious reasons for children to feel different and withdrawn. Parents are advised to seek help if their child seems isolated, anxious, withdrawn, and without friends. This book is highly recommended readers for ages 6 to 8, and for school libraries.

Here is my back cover endorsement:

“OSCAR is Different,” Margot Finke’s new picture book, shows by example how not to judge others. Oscar is a Tasmanian Devil—usually mean, nasty, and ugly. Yet Oscar IS different. Join Oscar, as he finally reveals his true nature to the bush animals. Kids will learn beaut Aussie words, and that actions are what really count when looking for friends. 

You can get the Kindle with pop-ups and soon the print copy will be out. "Oscar is Different" makes a great gift for the holidays for your students, kids, and grandkids!

Information on author Margot Finke is at

Information on artist Ioana Zdralea is at

Reviewed by:

Penelope Anne Cole
Multi-Award Winning Author of  
Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
and Mágico Mateo (Spanish). Magical Mea Goes to School, and Magical Max and Magical Mickey

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Oscar, different, Margot Finke, Ioana Zdralea, Aussie, Australia, Outback, critters, saving, helping, mean, nasty, evil, trying, giving, caring, understanding, accepting.