Book Review - ODD DUCK

Author: Cecil Castellucci
Illustrator: Sara Varon
Publisher: :01 First Second
Source: e-galley from NetGalley; Purchased Personal Copy
Audience: For all ages
Keywords: Graphic Novel Hybrid, Friendship,  

Description from publisher page:
Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there's nothing so odd about that.  

Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can't overlook his odd habits. It's a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him.  

But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer. 

Sara Varon (Robot Dreams) teams up with Cecil Castellucci (Grandma's Gloves) for a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming examination of the perils and pleasures of friendship.

My thoughts on the book:
Sometimes I want to just take the easy way out and say to everyone, "You'll love this book.  Go out and buy it." However, that is technically not a review but an endorsement of a book.  And yes, I endorse ODD DUCK as a book worth buying, but I will say more.

ODD DUCK can be slightly hard to describe.  It isn't exactly a picture book, nor is it a graphic novel.  It's really sort of a hybrid graphic novel/early reader/chapter book.  It is also not just for young children.  ODD DUCK can certainly entertain listeners and readers of all ages. There is a lot between the pages that young children will find funny or silly and simply an enjoyable story about two friends who happen to be ducks and a bit odd at that.  Adults who pick this up because they have enjoyed Castellucci's other books or Varon's graphic novels will also find meaning on the pages of this story and will identify with the story of friendship and being unique.  

The story is about a duck named Theodora who lives her life a little differently than the other ducks.

Soon, another duck moves into the neighborhood.  His name is Chad.  Theodora bakes him a cake as a welcoming gift and soon they have developed a special friendship.  But as it happens, sometimes things can come between friends.  Of course, for real friends, there is always a way back to that friendship. 

This past Saturday, I had an opportunity to attend the book event for ODD DUCK at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.  There were special ODD DUCK cupcakes on hand for the event.

Cecil Castellucci was there to share about how ODD DUCK came to be.  She shared that illustrator, Sara Varon felt a special connection with Theodora; whereas, Cecil sees herself a little more like Chad.

Cecil projected the story onto a screen and read it for everyone.  All of the children (and even big "kids") really enjoyed hearing about Theodora and Chad.

I was sitting over by Alethea (@frootjoos), Kristen Kittscher, and Elizabeth Ross.  Kristen was sharing her copy of ODD DUCK so that we had a close up look at Varon's quirky and just right artwork.

There is even an tree in the center of Skylight Books and if you look closely, author, Leslie Margolis was in the audience. 

If you haven't picked up a copy of ODD DUCK, I would encourage you to head over to your local bookstore and pick one up.  Remember to shop Indie whenever possible.

For more information:
Cecil Castellucci - website | facebook | twitter

Sara Varon - website | facebook 

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