Wednesday 30 September 2015

The Ogglies Go to School

The Ogglies Go to School by Erhard Dietl (Starfish Bay Children’s Books)
HB RRP $25.99
ISBN 9780994100719
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9780994100214

Reviewed by Leigh Roswen

The Ogglies Go to School is the second title in the Oggly series created by author/illustrator Erhard Dietl. The Ogglies are green creatures with big noses, horns and super-strength. The Oggly family live in a rubbish tip and love everything dirty and stinky. One day Oggly-Grandma takes the Oggly twins to school on their dragon, Firebottom (complete with rear-end exhaust pipe). When the human teacher is called away Oggly-Grandma is left to look after all the children. What ensues is a wonderful day of mud and mayhem. But how will the children clean up before Mrs Lucy returns? The Mud-Puddle Song forms part of the text and the music score is included on the last page.

The Ogglies Go to School is a quarto-sized book. On every large spread there are busy colourful cartoon-like illustrations. When children have looked at all the school-children and quirky Ogglies themselves there are still more creatures in the background to discover.

It is a little difficult to put an age-range to this story. The text itself is quite lengthy (over a thousand words) hence would suit an older independent readership of age 7-10. Also there is occasional bottom humour that this age range seems to love. However, younger children (aged 4-6) being read to by a willing and time-enabled adult will enjoy the funny pictures, and the setting which is more like a pre-school than a school.

The Ogglies are bound to become favourite characters. They are weird-looking but lovable, family-orientated but chaotic, fun-loving and happy. The Ogglies Go to School is a scrumptiously rebellious tale and an antidote to notions of cotton-woolling, over-scheduling and vanity.

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