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Ottoline and the Yellow Cat: 07/07/10

cover art

Ottoline of Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell is another of the child protagonists who have world traveling parents and are stuck at home basically alone except for a loyal crew of servants. Although the book starts with a trope that often annoys me, Ottoline is different. She's happy and she's clearly loved and in contact with her parents via postcards sent on behalf of their explorer's club. Ottoline also has a pal, an odd creature who looks like Cousin It, named Mr. Munroe. To her neighbors, Mr. Munroe is usually confused for being a pet dog.

This book isn't so much about Ottoline living alone. Instead, it's a mystery. The local wealthy adults are being robbed and the police are without any tangible leads. The only clue is the fact that their recently adopted dogs have also gone missing.

By itself, the mystery probably wouldn't be enough to sustain my interest in the book. What kept me turning the pages were Chris Riddell's lovely illustrations. As the pictures out number the text and are such an integral part of the plot I think the book qualifies as a hybrid graphic novel. It certainly has more in the way of artwork than other hybrids I've read (Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom for instance).

Riddell's illustrations have a complexity similar to Elenor Davis's The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook with a style that is reminiscent of Edward Gorey and Ian Falconer.

I checked out Ottoline and the Yellow Cat from my local library but I would love to own a copy.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Thursday, July, 8, 2010 at 10:05:39


Yes! We liked this one around here as well!

Comment #2: Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 17:08:00


I know there's a third book either out or coming out soon. I'm hoping my library will get a copy.

Comment #3: Thursday, December, 9, 2010 at 12:22:01

Tanya Turek

Hello! Thanks for linking to my review of Ottoline! I am a huge fan of Chris Riddell's work and, while you can still buy book one in the series in paperback, you can only get book 2 in hardcover and book 3 you have to buy through a used book dealer, which I recently did. I don't think it was ever even release in the US, as the copy I bought is a UK edition - and it comes with BOG GOGGLES!!! Check out Riddell's other series he wrote with Paul Stewart, THE FAR-FLUNG ADVENTURES and THE EDGE CHRONICLES.

Comment #4: Friday, December 17, 2010 at 23:08:33


Thank you for the information regarding the third book. Right now I will just have to be patient and hope that either a used copy magically falls into my lap or it does get published here in the States so that my library can buy a copy. I do plan to read his other books but right now I have a bunch of other books needing my attention.

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