Friday, July 23, 2010


Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

by Chris Riddell

Ottoline lives in an apartment on her own, except for her very odd little companion, Mr. Munroe, who is of unknown species, found in a bog in Norway. She has a cute, spunky little haircut, absent parents off hunting things down for collections, and several collections of her own, as well as several agencies who take care of everything in her apartment that might need taking care of, including the making of beds and plumping of pillows, the cleaning, the cooking of meals, and the shining of door handles.

She also has several costumes and a diploma from an academy of subterfuge, as well as a healthy curiosity that she isn't afraid to pursue. Which, of course, is how she gets herself and Mr. Munroe involved with the yellow cat.

You see, she had been noticing that several lapdogs were disappearing, and then an advertisement appeared offering help in finding lost lapdogs - isn't that odd? Ottoline thought so, too. And of course, she and Mr. Munroe sort things out with a little extra-special assistance from some of those many agencies and their specialties.

This book is an unusual little mystery, with a touch of the eccentric upbringing of Eloise thrown in for good measure. What pushed it past somewhat amusing and into the thoroughly charming, though, is the mix of story told in text and the many drawings that accompany it, making it one part graphic novel to two parts early chapter book.

It really is a fun, quirky little number for the child who likes something a little different.

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