Oddfellow's Orphanage Book Review

Oddfellow's Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin

After the death of her parents, Delia, an albino mute child, is brought to live at Oddfellow's orphanage, a place that is as strange as it sounds. The children range from a tattooed girl, to an onion-headed boy, to a child-like hedgehog. Their little adventures range around a sea-monster hunt, hair-cutting day, and a circus.

This was a book that will probably make my end of the year list as "Weird just for the sake of being weird." It was obvious to me that the illustrations were made first and the story was created to accommodate the illustrations. There is little in the way of story line and the what is there never made me feel closer to any of the characters. It would seem that since the story began with the mute Delia, she would be the character the reader should relate to, but often the story and the narrative escape from Delia, which matters little as we know so little about her.

Where the story falters though, the illustrations fully charm, reminiscent of artwork I have seen in children's picture books from the twenties and thirties. Although I did think the adults did look like children with beards, I wouldn't mind at all having various paraphernalia like a bag or perhaps children's clothing that had these illustrations on them.

In other words, I didn't think the book was the best, but it is well worth a look simply for the illustrations.