My friend Ollie
Original title: Moj prijatelj Oli
Original language: Slovenian
Age group: 5 - 12
Categories: Nonfiction, illustration
Inclusive towards: Ability
Author: Mateja Tominšek Perovšek
Illustrator: Matej Gaspari
Number of pages: 52
Format (in mm): 150 x 210
Info on rights holder: Založba Pivec d.o.o.,
, +38641769706 (Zala Stanonik)
Rights sold: all rights available
Ollie is a pocket-sized scruffy little dog who, one day, is found shivering on the doorstep of a house where a boy called Rudie lives. The little boy soon realizes that sweet little Ollie is a special kind of dog that asks unusual questions, chirps when he’s afraid and meows when he’s happy. He loves to play video games, gets upset quickly and doesn’t have much in common with his doggy peers. Despite this, or maybe in spite of this, Rudie and Ollie become inseparable buddies who pay no attention to the mean comments of those who don’t understand this different dog.
But what is it that makes Ollie so special? To find out, Rudie’s family goes to see a dog psychologist who tells them that Ollie is a dog who needs a lot of love and patience ‒ this is because Ollie has what psychologists call Asperger syndrome. Ollie’s family is full of understanding and agrees that each and every one of us has our own obstacles, obstacles that can be overcome with good sense and patience, and that, at the end of the day, everything can be overcome with love and compassion.
The book about Ollie significantly contributes to understanding of otherness and autism among peers. Children with autism are still often lonely and excluded from peer life, although many of them have interesting personalities with beautiful qualities, which they only show in a safe and stimulating environment.
Info on the author:
Mateja Tominšek Perovšek is a Master of Science and she is mostly publishing articles in the field of Philosophy and Theology. My friend Ollie is her first children's book which she dedicated to her son Florjan who is diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Autism spectrum disorders are still being ignored and the author thought a book like My friend Ollie would ease the stigma for all involved – children with autism, their classmates and their teachers.
On the way to getting to know her son's differences, her family was confronted with the contents and processes of diagnostics, education and other activities adapted for children with special needs. The process is not yet complete and will last a lifetime, but the author is very well suited to write this kind of children's book, which resonates with all the generations.
Info on the illustrator:
Matej Gaspari is an illustrator and comic artist. He is employed at the Zarja Disability Employment Center because of visional impairment, which didn't stop him from doing what he loves. He illustrated My friend Ollie under the mentorship of Simon Sanda, who is the founder and CEO of Studio Sanda, a design and art studio that helps businesses reach their audiences trough visual communication. Gaspari was always drawn to imaginative worlds full of fairy-tale-like characters where he could forget about every day worries. My friend Ollie is his third illustrated book.
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