Well, this came Tuesday, and I couldn’t tear myself away. Ottoline and the Yellow Cat is the story of Ottoline and her companion Mr. Monroe, a small, hairy bog creature from Norway. They live in the Pepperpot building while Ottoline’s parents are away traveling. They collect fabulous items such as emperors’ hats, meteorites, extremely small paintings, portable fish bowls, and hot-water bottles. While they are away, Marion’s Bathroom Supplies, The 1000-Strong Lightbulb-Changing Company, Smith & Smith Pillow Plumping technicians, Happy Nest Bed Makers, and Mr. Monroe take care of Ottoline. She lives a perfectly normal life (or normal for an extraordinary) until lapdogs from the Pepperpot building start running away. The owners of the dogs also have there jewels stolen. Is there a connection? Mr. Monroe thinks that Ottoline can solve the mystery.

Did I mention the fabulous pen and ink illustrations also by Chris Riddell? Ottoline and the Yellow Cat is a mix between a graphic novel and a picture book. Each page has an illustration in black and white, with a few things in red. They remind me slightly of the illustrations in The Mysterious Benedict Society because they are so complex. I loved the drawings of Ottoline’s Penthouse- you could always find a little mouse. I enjoyed the pictures in the first half of the book more than the second. The first half reminded me of Lemony Snicket and some other author (I can’t remember who). The situation was extremely unrealistic, but altogether laughable. Ottoline’s escapades reminded me that I really believed that living alone in a penthouse without any schooling (Still being brilliant of course) actually happened outside of books.

I would most definitely recommend this book. It is a bit young for me, but there’s plenty to marvel in even now. I could tell that Riddell wrote this both for kids and for adults reading it to them because of his little additions.

Comes out June 24th, 2008 in the United States. This book is already out in the UK (similar to STORM: The Infinity Code) and won the Nestlé Award. Chris Riddell has wond five already. The sequel, Ottoline Goes to School, features Ottoline and Mr. Monroe finally going to school at the Alice B. Smith School for Differently Gifted. Simply can’t wait for it.

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