The Odious Ogre

When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer.  I loved the exploration of the dual meanings of words — jumping to the Island of Conclusions, for example — as well as the idea that there is so much to do and to explore in the world that one need never be bored.  Sadly, though, there was only the one book; Harry Potter got 7 volumes but Milo only one.  While that hasn’t exactly changed, there is good news for Tollbooth fans.

After nearly 50 years, Juster and Feiffer have teamed up once again and have now produced The Odious Ogre, a tale of an ogre who treats the terrified local villagers as handy snacks until he meets a beautiful girl who is not only completely unafraid but is actually nice to him.  While the story sounds a bit darker than I would normally like for my kids, it doesn’t sound as dark as some of Roald Dahl’s books and if it’s anywhere near as good as Tollbooth, its excellence will surely make up for it.

That it has a good moral — one should always treat people with kindness, no matter how they appear — and that the hero of the story is female means it will show up in my daughter’s reading list in the near future.  After I finish it, of course.

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