Little gosling has not really been sick so far, but since starting nursery in Belgium (this was not an issue in South Africa 😉 has spent more time with a runny nose than with a clean, dry one. As such, we’ve had many conversations about mucus, germs and the importance of eating fruits and veggies for a strong, healthy, mucus-free organism. “Aventurile ramei Oli” (The adventures of Oli the worm in its Romanian original) have been of great help to visualise things in a playful manner.
Oli is the cutest worm, with those big, red glasses and contagious smile, who unknowingly lands in the Magical Garden, falling from an unfriendly beak. He makes friends with a Witty Apple who takes him to Madam Onion, the knowledgeable garden healer, master of the vitamins’ secrets and slayer of germs and viruses, to have his broken tail mended. Accidentally, he knocks down the jar where Mucus is locked away from the world. A fierce battle ensues between the inhabitants of the Magical Garden on one side and Mucus on the other.
Great opportunity to learn how useful and beneficial earthworms are to our gardens, true super-heroes, much like the broccoli, onion and garlic that put their strengths together to annihilate Mucus. Even more so as little gosling is not a fan of tomatoes, onions or garlic. Tomatoes, it beats me why, because he loves tomato sauce and ketchup. The other two he finds too spicy (“maybe I’ll like them when I grow up”), although he does occasionally taste some onion heart, but only because he can dip it in the salt and he loves that ;).
It’s an amazingly fun and playfully informative read. The scattered little poems and witty names are charming. The characters each have their own distinct personalities and add flavour to the story. The panicky Lisp Tomato and Madam Onion’s Whisk are my favourites. The illustrations marry well with the text, perfectly depicting the conviviality of the garden community.