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Odds by Matt Stanton

A review by Emma Streeton

The Odds are invaders from another world. From your imagination.

Kip is a quiet kid in a loud city. She’s easy to miss and that’s the way she likes it. Then, one day, Kip’s quiet life is suddenly interrupted. Ten of her favourite characters have stepped out of their worlds and into hers.

What happens when a dragon-hunting rabbit leaves his comic strip? When an old man leaves his picture book? When a ninja leaves her TV show, a race-car driver leaves their video game, and a dinosaur turns up from Kip’s nightmares?

Stanton is a familiar author

Matt Stanton is a million-copy bestselling kids’ author. One we know well and adore in my household. Needless to say my bookworms were very excited when this one landed in their laps to peruse and devour. And gobble it up they did… shortly followed by me!

I love the premise

I love the idea behind this book and it has really worked to create a fun, engaging and thought provoking read. What would life be like if one day you woke up and characters from your dreams, nightmares, drawings and imagination were standing right in front of you… alive and talking?! This is exactly what happens for Stanton’s latest protagonist Kip and total mayhem ensues. Stanton takes the reader on Kip’s journey of discovery and along with Kip we become totally enamored by the odd squad.

Real issues

Kip’s vulnerability and her struggle to fit in at school makes her a relatable and likable character. It is refreshing to have a dad / daughter relationship in a kid’s book and they form a heart warming duo. The underlying themes of the book are centered around identity, finding out who you are and celebrating uniqueness.

“…you’re too important to hide…Whatever happens out there, it’s your world as much as anyone’s.”

As a parent this book allowed me the chance to chat with my bookworms about their wild and wonderful imaginations. We explored which characters from their lives they would like to come alive and what adventures they go on in their dreams. Stanton’s book really fuels the imagination and what a beautiful thing that is for readers of any age.

The verdict

The black and white illustrations and graphic comic layout of the first half of the book were fabulous. Simple, effective and easy to follow for younger readers. The layout then switches to a script with a comical interlude as to why this change occurs. This is an ingenious move by Stanton as it definitely kept my bookworms hooked in, racing to find out how the Odds and Kip fare in the big wide world.

Such a great book. Fantastic premise, humor from the get go and fabulous characters all round. Fingers crossed Matt Stanton is already working on the Odds next adventure!

This story sounds a bit like the Last Action Hero (1993), miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and many other popular movies and TV shows, but with a new take and suitable for a younger audience. – Editor

Book details

Bookworm rating: 5 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780733340635
ISBN-10: 0733340636
Imprint: ABC Books – AU (HarperCollins Australia)
Released: 29/10/2020
Format: paperback, 208 pages
Age: From 7 years
Category: JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Humorous

The Odds: cartoon characters stare at the reader

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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