I think I could safely say that The Odd One Out is a book that had me at first touch. It’s just so gorgeously tactile even before you’ve cracked open the cover for a peek inside. I love books that feel like they should be cherished and treasured, and this, quite deliberately I suspect, has been designed to feel like a book that you pulled off your own childhood shelf, with a linen texture cover and thick soft matt pages.
And happily for all of us it’s a case where you absolutely definitely can judge a book by its cover; the content is just as fun as it promises.
At its heart it’s a spot the odd one out book (no prizes for having guessed that one), but it’s just been beautifully done.
Each pair of pages sets out the rhyme that tells you what you need to be looking for and then it’s a challenge to find it. And it’s not been designed to be easy or obvious, you really have to look to find which of the 120 or so identical penguins has a tiny chick under one wing,
or the panda without a piece of bamboo, or the flamingo with one leg up.
I love that the animals have been drawn as a repeating pattern, there’s definitely shades of textile design in the illustrations, or perhaps wallpaper – wouldn’t some of them make the mots fantastic wallpaper for a corner of a child’s room, or perhaps a hallway covered in flamingos!
It’s become one of our books that I can go to when I want to engage both girls in story time; nominally at least the book belongs to Elma, and I know she likes to stroke the pages and enjoy the patterns, whereas Kitty really starts to focus in on finding the odd one out. Even after several readings she can remember roughly where on the page she should be looking, but she can’t always find what she’s looking for straight away, and I love that it keeps challenging her to look and look again, it isn’t something that she can flip through think “done that” and cast it aside in search of something bigger and better. And that, if nothing else, would always make it a keeper!
You’d have thought by now that with a three year old and a one year old there’d be few Julia Donaldson books that we hadn’t encountered in one form or other but Vickie’s recommendation of Superworm last week proves me entirely wrong, and it looks like another great addition to the ‘must stalk it at the library list’!
And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!