11 May

Searching for Oliver K. Woodman

  • Interviews with Darcy Pattison and Joe Cepeda
  • Invite Oliver to your school! Call Costume Specialists at 1-800-596-9357.
  • Accelerated Reader Test: Reading Level 3.8 , 0.5 points
  • . . .this whimsical cross-country jaunt. Young readers will eagerly await more exciting travels from the wooden duo. . .Publishers Weekly
  • “. . .understatement and ambiguity are everything. . .” Kirkus Reviews

Companion Book: The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman

  • Publisher’s information from Harcourt Children’s Books
  • Interviews with Darcy Pattison and Joe Cepeda
  • Invite Oliver to your school! Call Costume Specialists at 1-800-596-9357.
  • Accelerated Reader Test–Reading Level 4.2 , 0.5 points
  • “A fresh, unusual tale.” School Library Journal
  • “. . . whimsical and imaginative. . .” Booklist
  • “. . . a warm tale. . .” Publisher’s Weekly
  • “All geography lessons should be this much fun.” Kirkus Reviews

MORE about Oliver and Imogene

The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman is a book that I’ve journeyed with for eleven years, from first draft to final book. Oliver’s official publication date is April 1, 2003, which seems a curious counterpoint to the sort of (good) luck that befalls the story’s hero.

It all began when I saw a newspaper article about a wooden man who traveled around the country. People who helped him travel sent postcards back to the owner. I thought there should be a story there, but it took time to figure out how I should approach the narrative. It seemed awkward to write it from the wooden man’s viewpoint—and then it struck me that Oliver’s story could be told in letters.

I took out a map of the United States and started to write. This time, I wrote each postcard or letter in the voice of the person who helped Oliver travel. Some friends had moved to Rock Hill, South Carolina, so I started there. And I’ve always wanted to see the redwoods, so I ended near there.

In fact, most places Oliver travels through in the book have a special meaning for me. I currently live in Arkansas; my father grew up in Texas; I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and spent my childhood there; a friend of mine lives in Utah; my aunt liked visiting casinos; and I have always wanted to see the redwoods.

FREE Lesson Plans

  • Download free Lesson Plans for Darcy’s books. Included are Lesson Plans for The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman, Searching for Oliver K. Woodman and 19 Girls and Me. These Lesson Plans are FREE and may be distributed as needed.

  • Over 100 activities to do with kids: family, counting, geography, music, writing, science, art.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the writing process for the books
  • Easy to Use–Just photocopy and go!
  • This is a 6374 KB zipped pdf file. It may take a couple minutes to download. Please be patient!

Download FREE Lesson Plans

One thought on “Searching for Oliver K. Woodman

  1. I read this story to my students and they can’t stop talking about it. I went to the local hobby store and found a Mr. Woodman!
    He has already sent us a letter from California and he’s about to leave for another journey. My students are marking all the places he has been on a map.
    So exciting!

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