The Children's Book Compass

An Engaging Fantasy

Posted on: December 9, 2011

The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson.   Illus. by Lisa K. Weber. (2011).  247 pages.   Dutton. Grades 3-7.  Fantasy novel.

This is the last book of the talented and masterful storyteller, Ibbotson.  Fantastic characters, a troll, a hag, a wizard and an orphan, are sent on a quest to save a princess from an evil Ogre.  However, when they arrive at the Ogre’s castle they discover the situation is surprisingly different than they were told.  The characters are deliciously described.  Here is the opening paragraph of the book,

“Most people are happier when their feet are dry.  They do not care to hear squelchy noises in their shoes or feel water seeping between their toes—but the Hag of the Dribble was different.  Having wet feet made her feel better: it reminded her of the Dribble where she had been born and lived for the first seventy-eight years of her life, and now she dipped her socks into the washbasin and made sure they were thoroughly soaked before she put them on her feet and went downstairs to make porridge for herself and her lodgers.”

Kids will want to keep reading after that opening.  The theme, discovering your happiness or bliss, makes the book a satisfying read.  This one will make an enjoyable read aloud for adult and child.  A few black line drawings are sprinkled throughout the story.

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