Ottoline and the Purple Fox


Chris Riddell


Fantasy / Science Fiction


Date Reviewed:

December 23, 2022

his is the fourth and apparently last (alas!) book in the Ottoline series by Chris Riddell. Like the previous volumes in the series, Ottoline and the Purple Fox is lavishly illustrated with Riddell's wonderful creations. There is artwork on nearly every page, and often times the picture will cover an entire page or even fill a two page spread. There is wonderful detail in all of the pictures; it is impossible not be impressed with Riddell's creations.

In Ottoline and the Purple Fox, Ottoline meets a fox that is colored purple. He lives hidden in garbage bin #34. The Purple Fox (at the end of the book we learn that his real name is Peregrine) explains to Ottoline that there is actually a lot of wildlife living in the city. He offers to take Ottoline and Mr. Munroe on an Urban Safari if they will meet him on the corner at midnight. Intrigued, Ottoline accepts and promises to meet him there.

Walking home, Ottoline and Mr. Munroe stop at 4th Street books. There they meet another girl who looks remarkably akin to Ottoline. The girl, named Myrrh Treesister, has a hairy friend named Miss Macintosh who is the spitting image of Mr. Munroe. Ottoline decides to invite Myrrh to a dinner party that she is hosting next evening.

On the Urban Safari, the Purple Fox shows Ottoline that the city is populated at night with flamingos, meerkats, miniature zebras and shy gorillas. I think Riddell included all of these animals simply because it would be fun to draw them.

At the dinner party, Riddell brings in characters from some of the previous books. He includes some dense pictures full of fun details that are a delight to pore over. The story ends with the Purple Fox and Crimson Vixen sailing off romantically in a hot air balloon. It is a nice tale, and I imagine readers will pick up this book multiple times just to delight in the beautiful illustrations. Although this is the last Ottoline book, Riddell has written four books in this Goth Girl series, a couple of which I have not yet read. Yet!