- Virginia Johnson
The Tales of Olga da Polga, by Michael Bond—creator of the Paddington Bear books, features a feisty, queenly, and imaginative guinea pig who leaves the dull life of an English pet shop to go live with her own “Sawdust People” in “a house with legs” in their garden. For another guinea pig, it would be just a sensible, comfortable life change, but Olga is not just another guinea pig.
She has a gift for storytelling, especially stories that are not absolutely true but probably better for her telling them, and she is quite excitable in contrast to the other animals she befriends and her human caretakers. Olga will not be outdone, whether it’s by a cat that is proud of his good looks or a ballet dancer on television. If the truth is a little dull, there’s always a way to make her adventures more interesting!
Take, for example, her visit from "the Surrey Puma:"
"From being as large as a St. Bernard, it became as tall as a horse, as fierce as a lion, as fleet as a gazelle, and as powerful as a grizzly bear.
She even managed to develop a kind of roar to go with the tale. It was far removed from her usual high-pitched squeak, for it started somewhere deep inside and went round her stomach several times, so that by the time it came out of her mouth it was really rather frightening.
Olga's audience listened with bated breath as she demonstrated how she'd used the roar to send her assailant packing."
The Tales of Olga da Polga is a funny, marvelous book tha could be enjoyed by animal fans of all ages. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library owns several copies of it on compact disk, so you can listen to her stories on the road if you like.