Monday, December 3, 2012

O'Diddy by Jocelyn Stevenson

Out of print are three very simple little words but for a Teacher-Librarian they can be very sad words indeed.  O'Diddy is a true gem which is long out of print.  It is a book that screams out to be republished but no one seems to be listening.

O'Diddy is a Stepping Stone book and in the past I have found some real treasures from this series such as The Astonishing Madame Majolica and Aliens for Breakfast.

O'Diddy is an imaginary friend.  As the story opens he has failed his first two assignments and is about to be sent to Boon or Beatrice Odile Olivia Noodleman.  O'Diddy was given his name on his second assignment. He is sent to a little kid called Mortimer who lets him decorate the living room with pink crayon clouds outlined in yellow paint. Mort's mother is not happy. "To hand it to Mort, he did give credit where credit was due.  He pointed at me and said 'But he did it!'.  His mother just glowered at him.  She couldn't see me, of course. Grownups never can. 'Oh, did he?' she said, or rather hollered.  And that's how I got my name."

The Dispatcher (she feels like the sky and a shopping centre - wise and busy at the same time) sends O'Diddy to Boon and everything goes along smoothly until the day Boon starts school.  When that happens Boon stops seeing and hearing O'Diddy but he is not prepared to just lie down and die.  He is determined to get Boon back and so he tries all sorts of schemes to get her attention such as filling her pillow case with shells, burning the toast and hiding her gym shoes.  Nothing works so O'Diddy is left to make his final plans - to lock Boon in the bathroom at her friend's slumber party.

Hilarious is not a word I use very often by it is the best word to describe O'Diddy.  This book is a joy to read and especially a joy to read aloud.  If you are aged 6 or 7 right up to an adult keep your eye out for this little book.  There must be some copies somewhere in the world - I certainly hope you find one in your library.

I must share the first page because it sums up the tone and delight of this first person narrative :

"My name is O'Diddy, and I'm an imaginary friend.  Right away I can hear you thinking.  What? Is this guy a lunatic? Imaginary friends are what little kids make up when they want someone to play with.  Really, I'm taking this book back to the store and asking for a refund. Not so fast.  Aren't you going to give me a chance?  It's not easy for an imaginary friend to write a book, you know.  The least you can do is read it. Let's make a deal. Four is my lucky number. If you get to chapter 4 and you're still worried about whether I'm telling the truth then you can take the book back to the store. Or better yet, give it to a friend - a real friend."

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