In Whamond’s Oddrey’s return, she must contend with a little touch of competition for the limelight.
Oddrey is not so much a fruitcake as an original. She takes the path less traveled. Sometimes it feels a bit like attention-seeking behavior, though, to her credit, she seeks attention for all her friends and classmates, too. In this story, she comes up against not exactly a nemesis, but a serious rival: Maybelline. Maybelline has lots of wild tales—she and her father traveled the four corners to find ancient artifacts in dangerous situations—to wow her classmates. She has so many wild tales that Oddrey gets suspicious, and she isn’t happy with Maybelline’s bossy ways on the playground. Then comes a school visit to the zoo, and Oddrey is able to reassert her not only strange, but now heroic character. Although Whamond’s artwork is a pleasing welter of colorful dabs and active lines, his story is achingly black and white. Readers know from the outset that poor Maybelline’s comeuppance is a done deal—she is too snooty by half—so there will be no surprises here. And Oddrey is too self-conscious about being the maverick, which doesn’t make her much of one; she is not a bohemian, she is a prima donna.
For Oddrey to remain odd, she is going to have to hear the beat of a far different drummer. (Picture book. 4-7)