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Otto's Orange Day: TOON Level 3 Hardcover – April 7, 2008

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Combining art and heart with storytelling genius and a lilting twang, Judy Schachner's tale of unexpected friendship will delight readers young and old. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3–Two veteran cartoonists collaborate to create a comic-strip-style book for beginning readers. Otto, an orange cat, receives a mysterious lamp from his aunt. While dusting it off, he releases the genie that resides within and is offered a wish as a reward. Otto declares that he would like everything in the world to be orange, his favorite color; however, after his wish is granted, the results–including a bad-tasting orange lamb chop and an orange-only traffic light that causes car accidents–soon cause him to have second thoughts. With the help of Aunt Sally Lee, Otto outsmarts the genie and sets things right. Each page features one to four panels, and the bulk of the story is told through dialogue balloons. The cartoons are lively and colorful. Clear chapter divisions, a clean graphic design, and large-size print make this title more appropriate for early readers than most comic-book offerings. Still, true beginners may have trouble with some of the vocabulary and struggle to follow the narrative flow. Offer this to book readers with a bit of experience under their belts and an interest in comics and cartoons.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Frank Cammuso, who drew Otto’s adventure, lives in Syracuse, New York, where he is the award-winning political cartoonist for the Syracuse Post-Standard. He is the Eisner-nominated creator of Max Hamm Fairy Tale Detective, selected as one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2006 by Booklist, and is at work on Knights of the Lunch Table, a middle school version of King Arthur and his Knights. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice and Slate.

Jay Lynch, who wrote Otto’s story, was born in Orange, NJ (honest, ORANGE, NJ!). He now lives in upstate New York with his wife, his dog, and way too many cats. He is the founder of Bijou Funnies, one of the first and most important underground comics of the Sixties, and for many years wrote the weekly syndicated comic strip, Phoebe and the Pigeon People. He has helped create some of Topps Chewing Gum’s most popular humor products, such as Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 230L (What's this?)
  • Series: Toon
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Toon Books (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979923824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979923821
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. Jonker on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Possibly the most frustrating situation I encounter in my work as a school librarian is when I run into the one track kid. These youngsters have a genre/subject that must be present in the books they read. Scary books, truck books, princess books, funny books - the list goes on. I usually do my best to find some titles in their topic of choice, but this type of reader can be picky. "Otto's Orange Day" is for every kid who is set in their ways and could use a nudge toward a broadening of horizons. Buy two copies - it's a page-turner that beginning readers will likely wear out from dangerously high levels of enjoyment.

Otto (a cat) has a favorite color - orange. If he had his druthers, the whole world would be one big orange explosion. One day Otto receives an orange oil lamp from his Aunt, and a genie appears to grant his wish. Just like that, everything is tangerine. It starts out great, but Otto soon learns that some things are better off in full color. Food, for instance. And traffic lights, they are different colors for a reason. It's also handy to be able to describe someone as something other than orange, especially if said person is a fugitive from the law. Pretty quick, our hero is a bit spooked and looking for ways to change things back to the good ol' days of brown colored lamb chops. That task proves to be difficult, since the genie only grants one wish. Otto must use his wits to bring back the Technicolor.

The illustrations are suitably cartoonish in style, with heavy outlines and vibrant colors. The dialog is spoken using word bubbles. As for the way the book is put together, much love to Françoise Mouly. I dig the design. I'm always a sucker for paper on board covers. The title has this cool floating effect that I like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By beccathegreat on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At seven, my son is a good reader, much of which I owe to books like Otto's Orange Day.

The dilemma is familiar to many parents of boys: beginning reader books about puppies, kittens, helping Mommy, and making friends are BORING. My son loved being read to, but he wanted stories that were exciting, fun, and full of adventure. We made weekly trips to the library, were willing to shell out significant amounts of money at the bookstore, anything to get our son past the beginning reader stage to the early chapter books stage.

A lot of bargaining went on: "Look, son, just read this boring book about Biscuit taking a bath and I'll give you a piece of candy." Or: "We'll read two chapters of BeastQuest if you'll just read three pages of this Level 1-2 book about dolphins." Children these days are sophisticated consumers: if they've watched Planet Earth and can follow a well-plotted television program, why are they going to want to read a beginning-level book about bunnies making friends? Sure, he had the aptitude to read, but it was becoming a CHORE, and we needed it to be a FUN experience.

So, what was our salvation? 1. Humorous books. There are very few beginning reader books with any sense of excitement, but there are several with humor--sophisticated, silly humor that kids respond to. I was desperate; I would've bought him a dozen books about farts if he would read them. Thank God it didn't come to that (of course that may just be because I never encountered any). 2. Books with sequential illustrations (comic books). If half the story is told through pictures, a child can glean meaning through visual context, and can actually read more challenging words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Saskia Leggett on July 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Otto's Orange Day" is a rare treat -- geared towards young readers, the book offers simple vocabulary and stunning graphics to keep kids engaged and, more importantly, pleased with their reading experience. I gave the book to my 7 year old cousin for his birthday, and he LOVED it -- the combo of comic book pleasure reading and fun, rhyming vocabulary was perfect for him. And, he completely understood the moral of the story. This book would be a fantastic gift for any young reader (and any parent yearning for beautiful presentation to accompany nightly readings).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pam - because someone has to be GOOD TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Written at the AR 2.1 level (accelerated reading), "Otto's Orange Day" is going to be perfect for those children that are reading at and above age-level. The story is 'cute' and without anything objectionable. It even teaches a couple of lessons.

The story is that Otto (a cat) loves the color Orange. And when his aunt sends him a gift, which turns out to be a magic lamp, he takes the opportunity of using his single wish to ask that everything is made Orange. Chaos ensues, of course, and Otto, and young readers, find out that 'you should be careful what you wish for'.

The drawings are bright and cartoon-y and little-kid-friendly. There's actually quite a bit of text at 988 words but children probably won't notice because of the artwork.

The whole package is suitable for younger children -- art, story and text. I'd say given my 8 yo's response that his age is at the top of the range for this one.

It's written at the 2.1 AR level, the material is arranged in short chapters.

The story teaches a couple of lessons. To be careful what you wish for, and that people have expectations about color foods should be. (I know. I made a blue cake once and no one would eat it. In this story it was blue pizza that offended)

Pam T~
mom/#kidlit blogger
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