Big Boy

Oli wishes he were big. Big enough to go bird hunting with his big brother Mbachu instead of having to take a nap. As big as Mbachu — or bigger. Much bigger. And suddenly … he is! But is it really what he wanted? Tololwa Mollel gives this traditional African theme a contemporary setting and a satisfying resolution.

Big Boy begins

Oli didn’t want to eat his lunch. He didn’t want to take a nap. He wanted to go bird hunting in the woods with his big brother Mbachu. His mama said. “You’re too little,” she told him.

…“When will I be big Mama,” Oli asked.

Mama smiled. “Only after many more naps, little one.”

…..Alone in the room (to take a nap), Oli wished he were big. Big enough to do without a nap. Big enough to walk side by side with his big brother in the woods. No, even bigger….

Oli sat up and listened. All was quiet. From under the mattress, he pulled out his slingshot. Then he sneaked out of the house.


…an engaging adventure story.

The New York Review of Books

…a resonant tale.

Maclean’s Magazine

Awards & Honours

  • Canadian Library Association Honor Book
  • Writers Guild of Alberta Award for Children's Literature
  • Canadian Chilcren’s Book Centre Our Choice List (of the year’s 30 best books)