Friday, May 4, 2012

Ottoline Goes to School

Ottoline Goes to School (Ottoline #2)
Chris Riddell
HarperCollins, 2008
$10.99, Hardcover
March 30th, 2012

Genre: Mystery
Age: 8+
Description: Ottoline meets the snooty Cecily Forbes-Lawrence III and her Patagonian pony, Mumbles, while out for a walk with Mr. Munroe in Pettigrew Park and Ornamental Gardens one day. Mr. Munroe isn’t too impressed with Cecily and doesn’t take to kindly to Ottoline totally ignoring him for her company. However, Ottoline is soon declaring Cecily her new best friend and begs her parents to send her to the Alice B. Smith School for the Differently Gifted with Cecily. Her parents pull some strings and Ottoline finds herself and Mr. Munroe (disguised once again as a dog) shipped off to boarding school. Once there, Ottoline has difficulties trying to find her different gift and struggles through her classes, which include sitting practice, giggling studies, “looking,” “seeming,” and useful and useless facts. Meanwhile a ghost appears to be haunting the school and Mr. Munroe sets out to solve the mystery. When Ottoline and Mr. Monroe capture the ghost they are both awarded badges for their different gifts—Spook Spotting and Hairy Helpfulness.
Opinion: Ottoline is a cross between a Series of Unfortunate Events book and the kookiness of the Addams Family. The books move quickly and are jam packed with a lot of interesting pictures and laugh out loud humor. There are also many hilarious side bars throughout the story. The illustrations are mainly black and white with some splashes of blue here and there. This is a delightfully unique story. Give to fans of Coraline and the like and readers looking for a quirky adventurer.

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