The Griffin and Oliver Pie

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Michael Lawrence
Orchard Books
Jul 2006
�Time can be made to pause, but she�s an impatient mistress. She won�t wait long, even for griffins. The wink of an eye is almost up.�

The importance of friendship and by consequence of trust is a common thread to much of Michael Lawrence�s writing. When readers are first introduced to Oliver Pie, he is between his thirteenth and fourteenth sigh, all of them made due to the prospects of the adult-centric world that he inhabits and into which he is about to be thrust head-first once more.

When Oliver opens the ram-shackle door at the bottom of his garden, he pushes aside much of the adult influence and constraints of imagination and possibility that have been exerted over his life, stepping instead into a world where there is ceaseless growth and endless openings before him. A griffin, a stone statue located amidst the long green grasses on the other side of the door, forms an anachronism but at once a manifestation of trust and of the needs-fulfilled that accompany the best friendships.

It is little surprise then that after confiding in his father about the Griffin, Oliver feels betrayed when the Griffin is sold to the nearby garden centre. A terrible sense of foreboding broods in the minds of all who approach the statue in the garden centre as transference of feelings occurs. Oliver Pie who has developed emotional attachment to the Griffin shares particularly in this and so must find a way to try to alleviate some of his newfound friend�s anxiety. This is achieved through convincing the Griffin that though he might be from another age, that there is still place and purpose for him in the present.

The curiosity of Oliver, the magic of the Griffin and the careful.depiction of emotion are reminiscent of Edith Nesbit�s writing. Adam Stower illustrates the book beautifully detailing with wonderful expression the Pie family and the Griffin�s magisterial haughtiness. Truly, here is a tale that is timely and, like its subject, is something to be treasured�

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on August 23, 2006 7:39 AM.

The Fledging of Az Gabrielson was the previous entry in this blog.

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