Review Blog

Oct 21 2016

Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell

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Ottoline, book 4. Macmillan Children's Books, 2016. ISBN 9781447277927
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Ottoline and the Purple Fox is a dazzling new story from UK's Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell. It was the first that I had read about Ottoline, but I had no problems with the characters or the plot as it read beautifully as a stand-alone story. Fans of Ottoline will no doubt be thrilled to read another story about this independent little girl and the strange hairy Mr Munroe. In this story the pair meet a purple fox who takes them on an urban safari where they discover all the animals who live in the city. While Ottoline takes notes about the animals, Mr Munroe is intrigued by the poems left on the lamp post and they both want to help the lonely poet find true love. The pair organise a dinner party for all their friends and hope to help out the anonymous poet.
This is a whimsical, humorous story that delights the senses with its wacky ideas and fabulous illustrations. Ottoline is a wonderful girl and the introduction of a new friend, Myrrh, who looks just like Ottoline adds a twist that has the reader thinking about where she fits into Ottoline's life. The purple fox grabs the reader's attention and the journey through the city that he takes Ottoline and Mr Munroe on is fascinating as various animals are shown in amazing habitats.
Each page has something for the reader to linger over and smile about and young readers will be pleased to be sent to other pages for more information. There is a nod to the stories about Goth Girl by Riddell - a subtle hint to the reader that there are other books by this author! At the back is a fancy dress fortune teller that children will love to make and use.
This is a series that is a feast for the imagination for all ages and will richly reward those who are prepared to spend time perusing the illustrations.
Pat Pledger

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