October 22, 2014

Oddrey Joins the Team

by Dave Whamond
32 pp.
Ages 4-8
August, 2014

First came Oddrey (Whamond, 2012), the winner of the 2014 Blue Spruce readers' choice award. Then came Oddrey and the New Kid (Whamond, 2013), a current nominee for the Forest of Spruce®'s Blue Spruce award.  Now here's Oddrey Joins the Team, a third adventure in this highly-acclaimed series by cartoonist and award-winning children's author and illustrator Dave Whamond to show children that being an individualist like Oddrey can make you an awesome team player too.

Oddrey is a star at accepting others and bringing out the best in them so it wouldn't be surprising that Maybelline, the new kid from Oddrey and the New Kid, would ask her new friend Oddrey to join the soccer team, the Piccadilla Bees.  Maybelline is a very good soccer player and all the kids on the team are eager to play and have fun by embedding their special talents, from karate kicks to cartwheeling to dance, into their skills training.  Unfortunately, these aren't the gifts that Maybelline is trying to coach into them and they're not the skills that win games, especially against the Quagville Crushers.  But, just as Oddrey has saved the day before, she does so here bringing all their special talents into play just as their team's namesakes successfully do to ensure a smooth running beehive.

I love Oddrey's joie de vivre and her natural ability to include everyone.  She may perform an awesome pirouette, both on the field and off, but she is no prima donna, recognizing the value of appreciating what everyone has to offer.  Luckily, even with those who lean towards taking control, like Maybelline, Oddrey can help them see the benefits of relying on a team approach while allowing everyone to stay true to themselves.

But, while I love the little girl, and the wordplay in the text, I appreciate Dave Whamond's illustrations even more.  There are so many quirky details in the children's faces and actions that, though the words may be read quickly, you'll need to stay on the pages longer to catch all the bold facets of Dave Whamond's cartoons:  from the immense eyes, voluminous smiles, crowned queen bees and playful extraordinariness of the ever-present pup.  Learning life lessons with a chuckle and a smile along with Oddrey and Dave Whamond continues to be a delight.

No comments:

Post a Comment