#CBCA review: Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere celebrates girls and science

CBCA Review Olga and the smelly thing from nowhere

What is this about?: Olga finds a smelly thing that is adorably cute but she can’t quite figure out what it is. So what’s a girl to do? Science of course!

What else is this about?: This is a book that shows a young girl enjoying science and research, and even better? Throws in some important learning about how people can be so much more than what they first appear to be.

Blurb: Meet Olga, the amazing child scientist who LOVES animals (because they are super-cute)! Brightly.com put this amusing don’t-miss book on their “Ultimate Summer Reading List for 9- to 12-Year-Olds”

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is jam-packed with fun: vibrant illustrations, word bubbles, quirky humor, olgamus facts, and plenty of excitement for readers who love making discoveries and meeting new friends. Olga is a charming combination of independent, curious, and smart—making her the coolest girl scientist around—perfect for fans of Dork Diaries and Captain Underpants.

When Olga crosses paths with a weird creature and becomes the first kid to discover the species olgamus ridiculus, she is ecstatic! What does an olgamus eat? How does it poop? Why does its burp sound like the word rubber? With her trusty observation notebook and the help of a librarian, a shopkeeper, and some friends, Olga sets out to do science—learning the facts about her smelly, almost-furry pal and searching for him when he goes missing. The scientific method is the best way to discover anything!

Just looking at the cover of this book made me laugh out loud. Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere has a funny, vibrant cover with illustrations that will brighten up your day even before you open it up. And when you do open it up, the fun continues!

Elise Gravel has written a story that reminded me of how fun it was to be fearless, to explore and to ask and think the silliest things without being told it was wrong.  In a nutshell, that is Olga’s adventure in this book. She is a scientist, who loves animals and it shows in this, her observation notebook. It’s an ingenious way to draw readers into Olga’s joy at science, and every page comes with the oddest (and truest) of facts, as well as marvellous, fun illustrations.  In addition, we have a female character enjoying science, in fact revelling in it.

Read the rest of my review 


  • Aww this sounds super cute, and what a great idea! Definitely nice to see some books promoting girls in science in such a fun way.

    • Verushka says:

      Definitely — and with accompanying cute art. Olga gets messy and totally into finding out everything about her “smelly thing” and I couldn’t help think how many times little girls may have bene told not to do these things in real life, because it’s too messy or not what girls do.

  • Kelly says:

    This sounds adorable Verushka and I love authors placing girls in roles of exploration and science within childrens and tween reads. There needs to be more of it. Any book that features animals is my type of read and I love a goofy middle grade in between heavier reads. Super cute and brilliant review! <3

    • Verushka says:

      It is a super cute book and with even cuter illustrations that show how adventurous Olga is, and how messy she gets in aid of her science. It’s glorious!

  • This sounds like a fun read. The title made me chuckle as soon as I saw it. I also love the idea that the main character is a girl scientist. That’s so great!

    • Verushka says:

      She TOTALLY checks out poop in her investigations into what exactly the smelly-thing is. How often do you see that in a book??

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