Otto the cat has gotten his one wish: everything in the world has changed to orange. Everywhere he looks now, Otto sees the color orange. Up in the sky are orange airplanes and cranes. Walking down the road are orange ducks and clowns, and high in the trees are orange monkeys and bees.
Before too long, though, Otto realizes not everything looks good orange - especially when you have to eat it. And an orange world is not a safe world. When orange clothing camouflages everyone and traffic lights lack the colors red and green, dangerous things start to happen. Otto needs to find a way to get a second wish - and quickly!
Told in three short chapters, this “Toon” book is a comic book younger readers can enjoy. The layout is uncluttered, the storyline easy to understand, and the bright, playful illustrations appealing. In addition, the vocabulary is simple and the text often rhymes. At the beginning of the book, Otto sings and dances to his orange song:
I like orange flowers…
As readers follow the story along in the panels, they will wonder if Aunt Sally Lee will be able to help Otto. It will not be as easy as they think, though. The genie Otto and Aunt Sally Lee are dealing with is tricky and a stickler for words and details. Their first plan actually backfires, but when they learn that the genie is hungry, Otto knows just what to do. They just might get that second wish after all.
And I wear orange socks...
…And I built a tall tower…
…of bright orange blocks!
Otto’s story will be particularly interesting to those children who love wearing their favorite color every day, or who are always choosing the same marker to color with all the time. They will see, as Otto does, that a little variety in the world is a good thing.
Jay Lynch is the author of Otto's Orange Day. He helped create the Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages, and for many years he wrote the comic strip Phoebe and the Pigeon People. The founder of the Bijou Funnies, Lynch was born in Orange, NJ, and lives in New York with his family of pets.
Booklist selected Frank Cammuso’s Maxx Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective as one of the top ten graphic novels of 2006. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the New Yorker, the Village Voice and Slate. An award-winning political cartoonist, Cammuso lives in New York.