Review Blog

Jul 20 2009

Oddly by Joyce Dunbar

cover image

Ill. by Patrick Benson. Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781844280322.
(All ages) What a strange but memorable picture book! Three weird creatures, Lostlet, Strangelet and Oddlet, are roaming in the woods. The Lostlet is going around in circles and doesn't know what he is hoping for. The Strangelet asks himself, 'What am I?' and doesn't know what he is dreaming of. The Oddlet asks, 'Who am I?' and wonders what he is wishing for. A little boy, who is also lost, comes along, and doesn't know who or what he is. The four get together and discover that love is what makes you better.
This tale looks at identity and self-perception in a warm and loving way. The three strange creatures are very appealing especially when they evolve into Huglet, Snuglet and Foundlet. The little boy has a wonderfully expressive face, each emotion clearly depicted by the beautifully illustrations by Patrick Benson. Indeed, it is the illustrations with their gorgeous sweeps of pale orange and blue backgrounds that bring this story to life.
I can imagine reading it aloud to very young children who will be reassured that love is still waiting even if they get lost or feel strange or odd.
Pat Pledger

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