Monday, April 2, 2007

Oddly Normal

Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton (Viper Comics)

Oddly Normal is a ten-year-old girl who doesn’t fit in. She doesn’t fit in at school because of her green hair and pointed ears (her mother is a witch). When her parents disappear, Oddly is taken to her mother’s magical homeland of Fignation and she finds herself at Menagerie Middle School, where she doesn’t fit in because of her pink skin and inability to do magic (her father is human). Oddly is befriended by the school misfits – a nerdy mad scientist, a sweet Frankenstein-style creature, and a decidedly unspooky ghost – and together they take on the mystery of Oddly’s parents’ disappearance, school bullies, and a very evil English teacher.

This is a really good book. On one level, it’s a nice twist on the classic misfit tale that kids will relate to, while on quite another level it examines the nature of mankind and our beliefs in good and evil. While most of the philosophy and some of the vocabulary went way over the girls’ heads, they really enjoyed the story and could relate to the characters. This would be a great book to have kids reread every year because they will get more out of it each time. Otis Frampton manages to reference Ambrose Bierce and Edmond Burke, quote Shakespeare and the Rolling Stones, and create a cute little critter that says, “Oopie! Oopie!” Oddly Normal pretty much defines “all-ages” – it’s as interesting and relevant to kids as it is to adults. I’m really looking forward to Volume 2.

Sarah says: I like Oddly Normal because it’s about witches and it has a Frankenstein that’s a kid. The art is different in its own way. I like Oddly’s pet, Oopie, because he’s cute and all he says is, “Oopie! Oopie!” There’s a cute zombie that brings brains to school for lunch, so this book might scare little kids. But if they like a little bit scary stuff then they’ll like this. He’s making a second book and I’m looking forward to it. Her parents are missing and I hope she finds them.

Shelby says: Oddly Normal is about a girl whose mom is a witch and her dad is a human. Whenever it’s raining and a drop of water gets on her, she says “ow” because she’s only half a witch – it doesn’t kill her, it just hurts her. She has green hair and she wears tennis shoes all the time. She doesn’t fit in at school and she doesn’t have any friends. When she goes into the magical world, she has a few friends. Her scientist friend has this little invention, it’s an animal, and whoever touches it first, gets attached to you. I love the little dude! He’s so cute. The story is basically about Oddly trying to fit in with everyone… even her parents.


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