Ottoline At Sea


Chris Riddell


Fantasy / Science Fiction


Date Reviewed:

July 9, 2022

he irrepressible Ottoline returns for her third adventure in Ottoline At Sea. Once again Chris Riddell has crafted a great children's story, and filled it with fun drawings. The story is profusely illustrated. Some parts of the story advance without any text at all, the pictures of Mr. Munroe's journey tell the story as well any text description. I have the opinion that Riddell really gets a kick out of producing these books, because so much care goes into each volume.

In Ottoline At Sea, Mr Munroe uses his bog goggles to spot hidden messages in drawings. Bog googles are included with each book - they are polarized lens that are suppose to filter out obscuring color and lines to reveal an image. Alas, no matter how near or far I held my bog goggles, I could not get the image to pop out of the background. This is my only minor complaint with regards to this fine children's book. I think that what Mr. Munroe saw was the footprints of the Quite Big Foot, who lives in Norway. Mr. Munroe tries to tell Ottoline that they need to set forth to Norway, but Ottoline is distracted by planning a vacation for the two of them, and so Mr. Munroe sets out on his own. When Ottoline realizes that Mr. Munroe has left without her, she is heartbroken - she and Mr. Munroe do everything together! Ottoline and the bear set off after Mr. Munroe.

This being a children's story, Ottoline meets helpful allies at every turn. She rides in a submarine. On a sea plane. On a raft called the Kon-Leekki, captained by Thør Thørrensen. Along the way, Ottoline's adventure includes hunting for mermaids (which turn out to manatees), meeting the Polar Bear Shoe Company, and visiting with Ringo and George (two green-nosed trolls who live in Norwegian Wood). There is nothing in this book to frighten young children, the Quite Big Foot turns out to be friendly and mischaracterized.

I believe the Ottoline books will appeal to folks of all ages. They are humorous and well drawn. Alas, there is only one more book in the series.