Wednesday 19 October 2016

Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell (Pan Macmillan Australia)
RRP $19.95 ISBN 978-1-4472-7792-7

Reviewed by Ramona Davey

The moment I saw this book I could not help myself but to touch its beautiful hardback cover and turn it over to study the ornately gold decorated spine. It is a beautiful book to look at and hold.

Ottoline and the Purple Fox is the fourth book in the series about a young girl Ottoline and her companion, the strange hairy Mr Munroe. Together they have adventures as Ottoline’s parents travel the world seeking to find interesting objects to add to their ever-growing collection.

In this book Ottoline organises a dinner party. Guests get an unusual invitation that tells them what to wear. The reader gets one, too. This is a great idea. The book is full of ways to encourage the reader to interact with the story. Labels are scattered throughout the pages.  And the games played at the party are the type that the reader could try out with his or her own friends, for example:
Truth or Stair: Tell a true story or climb the stairs
Pillow Island Hopping: Jump from pillow to pillow without touching the floor.

The book is heavily illustrated and there is so much to see, so many tiny details to stop and look at in Chris Riddells’s intricate drawings. The illustrations are in very thin black pen with the odd splash of purple. There are menus to browse, lists to check, poems to ponder and Ottoline’s notes to read.

There are lots of references to Chris Riddell’s other books within the illustrations so the reader can check out his other stories.

The book is a great fast read and can be read in one sitting. It is ideal for 8-10 year olds.

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