CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 23. . . .February 15, 2013
As her name might suggest, Oddrey has always been a bit different from everyone else. Whether she's building pyramids with her peas, juggling her bathtime bubbles, drawing blue apples during art class, or wearing her single trademark daisy on the top of her head, Oddrey enjoys doing things in her own unique way. Unfortunately, her classmates view her activities with a wary eye, and when Oddrey tries to infuse some personality into the tree costume she'll be wearing for the school play, her teacher actively tries to quash her creativity. But when Oddrey's ability to think for herself helps to save the show, the value of individuality becomes clear to everyone.
Oddrey is chock-full of spunk and originality, with a delightful flair for the dramatic, although her extreme wackiness comes across as somewhat one-dimensional. While the book's message is fairly pointed, Whamond's humour keeps his text from seeming overly didactic. With its emphasis on being true to oneself and embracing difference in others, Oddrey will certainly help to satisfy the steady demand for picture books that introduce the concept of individuality. A nice feature of Whamond's story is that it adeptly balances the importance of independence and teamwork. Although Oddrey is initially disappointed not to get a major role in her class's production of the "Wizard of Odd," she still believes that she has something valuable to contribute, deciding to be the best tree she can be, and using her talents to encourage her classmates when they are struck with stage fright on the night of the show.
Megan Sorenson is a librarian from Vancouver, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.