Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review of Ollie's Odyssey by William Joyce

Ollie's Odyssey
By William Joyce
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
April 11, 2017 (Reprint)
Paperback Purchased from Amazon

Goodreads Summary:
Can a beloved but lost stuffed rabbit save himself and other Losts from becoming the most feared designation of all: The Forgotten? Find out in this epic quest from the author of The Guardians series and the creative force behind The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Oswald is a favorite. Of all the toys in Billy’s home, the stuffed rabbit takes top rank: everywhere Billy goes, so goes Oz. But being a favorite is more than a privilege—it’s also fraught with danger. Because of Zozo.

Zozo has never been a favorite. An amusement park prize who was never chosen, Zozo has grown so bitter that, when the amusement park closes, he seeks revenge on every toy lucky enough to be a favorite. He wants them all to become The Lost, and even better, Forgotten.

When Billy accidentally leaves Oz under the table at a wedding, Oz finds himself on an unplanned adventure, kidnapped by the nefarious Zozo and his gang of creeps and faced with the momentous task of saving not only himself, but all the other stuffies who are “lost” as well…

With nods to Toy Story and Knuffle Bunny, but with that insoucient joie de vivre that is all William Joyce’s and Moonbot’s own, here’s a look at what REALLY goes on with your stuffed animals when the lights are out. 

My Thoughts:
Ollie's Odyssey had been on my Amazon wish list for quite some time so I was excited when I was finally able to read it. I was surprised at the length and overall heft of the book when I received it. The pages are gorgeous and shiny and thick, and the book has some amazing illustrations! Overall, I was surprised at the darkness of the story. The "bad guy" in the story is an old clown who's heart has turned cold and hard. William Joyce did a great job making Zozo the clown a fairly frightening create, to a level that only creepy clowns can achieve. Zozo's henchmen are also a pretty creepy lot, rightfully named the Creeps.
From Moonbot Studios
But fear not, the story has a happy ending and I think shows some great examples how even the unlikeliest of characters can find the courage to be brave and stand up for what is right in the name of friendship!

Even though it is a bit dark, I would recommend this book for 4th grade and up!