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The Amazing World of Gumball Vol. 1: Fairy Tale Trouble by Ben Bocquelet
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Curse of the Arctic Star by Carolyn Keene
Demon Book 1 by Jason Shiga
The Dragon That Lived Under Manhattan by E.W. Hildick
The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
Ghostbusters International by Erik Burnham
Graveyard Slot by Michelle Schusterman
Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985 by Ed Piskor
How to Avoid Extinction by Paul Acampora
Imagine a World by Rob Gonsalves
It's a Tiger by David La Rochelle
Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown
The Lost Compass by Joel N. Ross
The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill Long
The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin by Elinor Teele
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell
Pouncing on Murder by Laurie Cass
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
The Soprano's Last Song by Irene Adler
Stealing the Game by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
The Underdogs by Sara Hammel

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Ottoline and the Purple Fox: 11/16/16

Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell is one of my favorite author-illustrators. Here in the United States he's most known as the illustrator of The Edge Chronicle books by Paul Stewart. He's also (in most of the world, but oddly not here) the illustrator of many of Neil Gaiman's books.

Nine years ago, Riddell started a delightful series in the tradition of Pippi Longstocking — Ottoline. She's the daughter of explorers who are almost never home but have put together a supportive community of helpers for their daughter so that she can live at home in their flat in the Pepper Pot building.

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (2007) and Ottoline Goes to School (2008) were published in the United States. My kids and I devoured them. I don't know how many times we read those two volumes. And then the Ottoline supply dried up here. Thank goodness for the internet making importing books easier, so that we could read >Ottoline at Sea.

After six years, I figured we had seen the last of Ottoline — giving her a nice trilogy. Until late September of this year when I saw a tweet from Chris Riddell announcing the publication date of Ottoline and the Purple Fox on October second. After a brief moment of nearly hyperventilating, I put in an order to get it imported. It like Ottoline at Sea is still not easily available here.

In this fourth volume, Ottoline's life is opened up to new possibilities after she realizes that she needs to weed her parents' collection. There just isn't room in the expansive flat for everything they've sent home from their adventures. As someone who lives in a place with no storage, I'm perpetually weeding. I'm in the middle of another book weeding project.

In the process of taking out the garbage, she meets up with a purple fox who gives night time tours of the animal life of the city. The bear in the laundry room of the Pepper Pot isn't the only hidden animal. There are fashion gorillas on the roof and the need for a literal zebra crossing.

But it's not just about a beautiful fox. It's also about new friendships. First there is the Lamppost Poet who has been leaving love letters across the city. And there's Ottoline's double — a girl and her hairy companion. Together they look remarkably like Ottoline and Mr. Munro.

This volume has the same quiet fantasy as the previous ones. Every book has a color theme and this one — despite the green cover — is purple. Purple to compliment the intricate pen and ink drawings.

You can see my live blogging of the book on my Tumblr.

Five stars

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