Little Oddrey the charming oddball makes good when her classmates seize up like overheated cylinders during the school play.
Whamond’s Oddrey is a berserkly cute imp. She likes to do things her way: odd, but not dangerously so. Her hopscotch layout is unique; her apples are blue; her dog meows; she looks for the silver lining when others just want to get out of the rain. Her classmates are a tad suspicious, a little standoffish, but not hateful. When her class puts on the school play, Oddrey gets a supporting role and has to conform to the drab outfit her drab teacher gives her. When the stars of the show come down with serious stage fright, Oddrey races from each to each with encouragement, and the show goes on. Despite the fairly dear artwork and the unflagging optimism and original personality of Oddrey, readers can’t help but feel a letdown at how her creator has her rather unoriginally save the day. It’s plain flat and not what we’ve come to expect from her. And when the other kids start to emulate her, she might as well be Audrey.
So bighearted and good-spirited, it is a shame that the climax fails at liftoff. (Picture book. 4-8)