Oddly is about three other-worldly creatures, Strangelet, Lostlet and Oddlet. Each is considering his own existential question. When a little boy happens across the three unusual creatures, he has existential questions (and answers) of his own.
Together, the three seem to satiate their existential appetites and there is a satisfying ending. There is definitely something poetic about the word choice and content.
Oddly is a book that is more philosophical than the usual content published in picture books for this age group. This is not a book to leave with a child before walking away; it is one that needs to be discussed in order for children to appreciate the deeper meaning. There is also room for interpretation here, and that's something of which I am an enthusiastic proponent.
I think there is certainly room for the unusual and different in the picture book market, and I'm not referring to 'quirky/fun' books (though I adore those beyond measure). Oddly is made of other stuff. As I said, this isn't a book for everybody, but it is a book for me! It might just be a book for you too.
Author: Joyce Dunbar
Illustrator: Patrick Benson
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: 12 May 2009
For ages: 3 – 6
Type: Picture Book