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Ollie's Odyssey

von William Joyce

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1304170,643 (4.22)9
"When a toy is bestowed with the title of "favorite," it takes on a coveted rank among the world of household things. But when a vengeful toy conspires to destroy these favorites, he must be defeated by a stuffed toy rabbit"--
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Hmm. I'd give the first of this book, and the last chapter, five stars. But apart from that last chapter, the second half of the book is far weaker than the first, which left me feeling a bit disappointed and let down, even though it was still good... just not nearly as good as the beginning promised it would be.
This is the story of Billy, a young boy, and Ollie, his favorite stuffed animal. Early on the reader gets a sort of different angle on the Toy Story concept. Ollie can think, and talk to other stuffed animals. He talks to Billy too, but it's unclear at first whether their communication is truly two-way.
A second story line follows Zozo the Clown. Zozo long ago was a part of a carnival attraction that involved prized of stuffed toys for children. But as things got worse and worse in the carnival business, and then Zozo's own favorite - a ballerina toy - was taken away by a child, he slowly went from dejected, to sour, to purely evil. He builds his own minions "the Creeps" to kidnap favorite toys and bring them to his lair. Sometimes you almost get the feel you're going to slip into a horror story.
And of course, Ollie is kidnapped.
That's where the story begins to weaken. We've been introduced to a world in which, Toy Story like, toys have their own thoughts and communications, but it's all kept secret from the human world. But now little Billy runs away during the night to find Ollie. He is led to Zozo's lairs by fireflies. (What? Where did intelligent communicating fireflies come from?) Meanwhile, Ollie escapes Zozo's clutches and ends up in a junk yard, where it turns out not only do stuffed animals have emotions, and the ability to walk about on their own... EVERYTHING DOES! He meets, among other things, a talking, thinking, animated, refrigerator, glove, clock, lawnmower, empty aluminum can... Evidently there is no such thing as an inanimate object. Everything in the world is alive and sentient. All of this drew me far away from following the sweet and tender story of Billy and Ollie. The second half of the book is largely adventure related, with a huge battle of inanimate objects and a war against Zozo. The last chapter returns to the original flavor and ends on a gentle, but somewhat melancholy note.
I read this as an adult who loves YA literature. I'm not sure who the intended audience for this book is. Unusual for a YA book to focus on a child as young as Billy, and the illustrations (which are beautiful) suggest a younger audience, but it's the length of a short novel, and a few parts might be a bit scary for very young children. ( )
  fingerpost | Sep 10, 2018 |
A good read aloud for the younger grades ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Aug 5, 2016 |
Loved this book!
  marthaf35 | May 13, 2016 |
A beautifully written and illustrated story about the love between a boy and his favorite toy, reminiscent of the Stuff of Legend series by Mike Raicht & Brian Smith from 3rd World Studios and Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It's a tale of bravery, friendship, and loyalty and I think is perfect for both children and the young at heart. ( )
  tapestry100 | May 5, 2016 |
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"When a toy is bestowed with the title of "favorite," it takes on a coveted rank among the world of household things. But when a vengeful toy conspires to destroy these favorites, he must be defeated by a stuffed toy rabbit"--

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