I’m always on the look out for books about and for highly sensitive children, or books whose characters I know Martin could relate to at this point. This book, All Too Much for Oliver is one that many sensitive kids would find a very comforting read. It is written by Leila Boukarim, and is inspired by her own experience growing up as a sensitive person, and as a parent to a highly sensitive child. You can learn more about this book and her other project on her website.
This book is about a sensitive little boy who finds it difficult to engage in typical kid activities such as playing on a noisy playground or splashing in a pool with lots of other kids. Things change when he makes friends with a neighbour girl. The girl, though not highly sensitive herself, is highly attentive to Oliver’s needs. And really – that is all that a highly sensitive child truly needs: someone who would listen to him and accept him as he is. With the help of his new friend and at his own pace, Oliver starts enjoying things that used to overwhelm him.
Martin could relate to the book immediately. Especially, I think, because he too, tends to make friends with confident but caring girls who have often helped him in difficult social situations.
The book’s illustrations – the wonderful, gentle watercolours, fit the story and its tone perfectly. They are also not too much.
We loved it, really really loved it.