Otto’s Orange Day, more Toon Books fun.
by Frank Cammuso and Jay Lynch
More from Toon Books; the new graphic novel range from Francoise Mouly (“bringing new readers to the pleasure of comics”). But unlike the two books I’ve looked at previously, Otto’s Orange Day is a little more like a comic and less like a children’s book. It’s perhaps a subtle distinction, but Otto and subsequent books are all approximately comic sized with more panels to a page and slightly more advanced vocabulary, but still eminently suitable for the target audience of the emerging reader.
The story is a simple delight and can be very simply summed up as Otto loves orange, gets a magic lamp from his Aunt and makes his wish for everything to be orange. But after initial delight Otto discovers that not everything works if it’s orange and tries to get his genie to put things back.
And that paragraph above, whilst carefully summing up the story, singularly fails to get over the idea and the joy of the book. Just like all Toon Books, there’s a glorious sense of excitement and sheer fun to each simply crafted, expertly realised page.
Children will love the story, of the control, the wish-fulfillment and the discovery of the prolems of an orange world (Orange lamb chops? All orange traffic lights?) and the subsequent solution to the age old problem of one wish per owner of the magical lamp (sell it to his Aunt; new owner equals new wish – simple!). The language used is wonderful, particularly during Otto’s excited rush around his newly orange world, where all of the dialogue rhymes. Otto’s Orange Day will be lots of fun for a new reader and was great fun to read aloud. What a great bedtime story.
(Above, two pages from Otto’s Orange Day by Frank Cammuso & Jay Lynch. Great fun published by Toon Books).
Richard Bruton is recovering from an overdose brought on by drinking too much Fanta.