Olivia Sears


Olivia Sears is the mother of two daughters and a board operator and dejee at Montana Public Radio. She also writes children's book reviews for The Write Question blog.

Olivia's interests and hobbies include reading, writing, cooking, beading, and playing and learning with her children. Some of her family's favorite reading adventures have to do with Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, Junie B. Jones, Beatrix Potter, Ramona and Beezus, and anything from David Shannon. Olivia learned a love of reading from her mother and keeps these words from Edmund Wilson in mind when writing her reviews: "No two persons ever read the same book."

Brandi Carlile on stage in 2010.
Kirk Stauffer (CC-BY-2)

At a good live performance, an organic rhythm and energy develops between the audience and the performers.  When Brandi Carlile and her band landed on the stage at Missoula’s Big Sky Brewery with a heartfelt, energetic, fourteen-song set, I felt that synergy in a way I haven’t experienced in many years.

"Hello, Hippo! Good bye, Bird!" is fun picture book written by Utah author Kristyn Crow and illustrated by Argentinian artist Poly Bernatene. The book is intended for children ages 3-7.

Bird wants to be friends with Hippo, but Hippo wants to be left alone. Bird tells Hippo jokes. Hippo wants Bird to go away. Even though Bird makes himself into an umbrella and keeps bugs off of Hippo by eating them, Hippo still wants Bird to leave him alone. But then, after Bird is gone and a thunderstorm comes, Hippo starts to think he has made a mistake.

Macmillion Publishers

The first line sets the tone for this lovely story: “Buckley and his mama lived in a small wooden house by the sea. They didn’t have much, but they always had each other.”

Boats for Papa is a story about a young boy longing for his father. It is also the story of how that boy deals with his grief and the ways in which his mother supports his emotional process.

Sasquatch Books

Crow has a question: “Could it possibly be you’re like me?”

Bartholomew Quill: A Crow's Quest to Know Who's Who is a story about a crow flying through the animal kingdom in the Pacific Northwest, talking to other creatures who live there. He's looking for clues to his own identity.

Award-winning author Thor Hanson's writing style is flowing and poetic, which makes it fun to read aloud. Hanson is a biologist who has transferred his adult knowledge about the animal kingdom to this beautiful book for young readers.

Knoff Books for Young Readers

The Tree in the Courtyard Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window
by Jeff Gottesfeld and illustrated by Peter McCarty
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 2016