5 Reasons Why Your 4th through 6th Grader Should Read Odd, Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings
1. One of the two main characters of this charming book is (spoiler alert!) an owl disguised as a merely eccentric, accordion playing, briefcase toting, hat wearing “new kid” from Quebec.
2. The above set-up leads to hilarious classroom scenes and wink-worthy word-play.
3. This book requires suspension of disbelief in the way that fantasy and children’s books featuring animal characters (Cleary’s Runaway Ralph, Birney’s Humphrey series) do, while still reading like realistic fiction--making it appealing to a variety of readers.
4. Your 9 year old will walk around the house saying “wait a second… I think this kid may be an owl", while your 11 year old will be seen slapping her palm against her forehead saying “I can’t believe they don’t realize he’s an owl!”
5. Since “the other” in this book is an animal, and not simply an unpopular kid, or one of the typical victims of marginalization in our society, the themes of bullying and “being yourself” can be explored in a non-pedantic, non-moralizing way.
2014 D. Rosen-Perez