Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson

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Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A sweet tale of three strange creatures and a small boy. The sudden ending makes it feel a little unsatisfying, but doesn't detract too much from the gentle message of love.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 40 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 978-1844280322

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The Lostlet, Strangelet and Oddlet are wandering around, doing their thing. They come across a boy who is also lost, strange and odd, which comes as a big surprise to them. The four of them bond, and discover plenty about themselves.

Oddly is a sweet little book about love. It makes for great bedtime reading, with its gentle tale of people and creatures searching for an indentity, and more importanly finding one. Any book with a message of sharing always goes down a treat. It's all very reassuring, very pleasant, very lovely. Its soothing pace makes it just the sort of book that grandparents will particularly enjoy reading with their young grandchildren.

It all ends a bit suddenly, leaving you wondering if that was it. It's all tied up neatly, but it does feel a little like they found out they only had one more page to go and had to find a way to end it. Once you notice that it isn't quite as satisfying as it could be, you think back to the beginning of the book. You find yourself wishing the lostness, strangeness and oddness were fleshed out a little more. It's no more sparse than any other picture book, nor would it benefit from being twice as long. However, it does need a smidge more depth to give it a spark. (And as always with picture books that don't quite click with me, I fully expect a young child to find it on my bookshelf and declare it their favourite book ever!)

Getting back to the positives, Patrick Benson's illustrations are lovely. There's a gentle charm to them that suits the sweetness of the tale. Each page is kept deliberately simple, but they aren't lacking. The page of the young boy blinking back his tears is packed with emotion; you won't be able to resist awwing at it. All in all, Oddly isn't quite what it could have been, but it's still worth a look in case it strikes a chord with you.

My thanks to the publisher for sending it to Bookbag.

For more strangeness, check out Here Come the Aliens! by Colin McNaughton. Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling by Ricky Gervais is also an enjoyable read.

Buy Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Oddly by Joyce Dunbar and Patrick Benson at Amazon.com.


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