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Showing 1-10 of 128 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 210 reviews
on April 24, 2013
While parts of this are charming, the evil toys could be a bit much for small children. While it has fable-esque morals, they are a little heavy handed. Older children are reading Harry Potter, and this story would probably be too childish for them

I also purchased the narration that went with this book. While it might not be an issue for Amazon directly, perhaps you should know that this was without a doubt the WORST narration I have ever heard. The reader mispronounced many words (such as Amos, for Pete's sake), and read with ridiculously inept inflection or none at all. I intend to contact Audible about this. I don't usually purchase books for my Kindle unless it has narration, so I can listen in the car. I hope I can listen to the narration while sampling a book, and if it is this person (or machine, perhaps!) I will not purchase the book. This same narrator was on "Deceitful Moon" and the "Ann Stories". They are all terrible.
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on September 19, 2015
Oddkins: a Fable for All Ages --- I enjoyed this fable immensely. First, I commend the narrator of the audible book who did a wonderful job with all of the different voices. To read this only as a children's book would be a shame. For me Oddkins rates up there with The Velveteen Rabbit and The Little Prince in the underlying message about doing the right thing. One of my favorite parts was where Koontz paraphrases one of my favorite quotes when he says that to avoid evil one can't just be good, one has to do good. (All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing). And these little "good toys" take the message to heart. They are brave and they are respectful of each other ... even to the point of listening to what they consider horrible poetry that has been written by one of their own. My favorite character was Butterscotch, the dog who managed to talk a real dog into slinking away rather than bother the toys on the journey to find the new toymaker. I liked the transformation of Victor Boddkin from a money-loving brother anxious to get rid of his brother's toyshop and unwilling to believe in the magic of toys into the helper of the good little toys. If you can, listen to the audible version while reading.
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on April 23, 2013
Every kid believes that their toys have a secret life when their not looking. Well in this case it is true only there are evil toys that also have a secret life of their own. The good toymaker has died and the "oddkins", need to find another "good" toymaker to take his place quickly. You see, every time a toymaker dies the balance between good and evil is thrown off kilter and the possibility that it may tilt to evil is very real. This adventure is as old as time, the Oddkins fight for good, while their evil counterparts try to stop them from installing a new "good" toymaker and instead put in their own "evil" one. Its fun, its scary. A must read.
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on October 21, 2015
Sadly I can't give a good review on this book as the printer messed up when they put the book together. I am missing pages 43 to 58 and I was blessed with getting two sets of pages 59 to 74, of which, I don't really need. I am hoping that I can find a correct copy so I can finish reading it. The book is about good stuffed toys made to make children happy & evil sinister toys to hurt children. So far, the book is very enjoyable, although I don't think that it will be what you will call it a classic, unless they make a movie out it and stay with the book. It does have many illustrations and the print is easy to read, which for me with my poor eyesight, is a blessing and another plus is that the language is simple and enjoyable but not childish. I believe that this is a good book to read to your youngsters even though you might not want to put the book down until you have finished reading the whole thing. Enjoy. +JMJ+
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VINE VOICEon June 29, 2009
Anytime Koontz and Parks collaborate the result is beautiful. Koontz brings the Oddkins to life each with their own personalities and quirks. Parks' illustrations are gorgeous. When the story begins the old toymaker has just passed away. His magical toy creations, the Oddkins, must now recruit their creator's selection of the new toymaker before the Dark One can dispatch his minions to take over the toyshop and create evil toys. The Oddkins set out on a quest across town to the new toymaker's shop pursued by evil toys from an earlier maker. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and story while the many illustrations give the book a great look and atmosphere. The Oddkins are interesting and loveable characters while the evil toys are quite menacing. The story includes many smaller lessons, including courage, loyalty, and faith, that are appropriate for any age to learn. I would not, however, recommend this book for very young children. There are some scenes and pictures which would no doubt be scary for a small child. I was impressed with the depth of the tale and would absolutely recommend this book to anyone seeking a fun, and heartfelt story.
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on December 27, 2013
I'm a senior citizen who loves magical stories written for children but sophisticated enough to appeal to all ages. This is a beautiful story made even more so by the charming and detailed illustrations. I hope a lot of children will read it, for there is much to be learned about good and evil, joy and sadness, and the need to fight evil with all one's might. I fear that children these days are taught to think that there is goodness in everyone and all problems can be solved with diplomacy. That would be lovely, but there are real people in this world who are as mean and evil as the Charon toys, and we would be foolish to think they could be our friends.

Dean Koontz is one of the greatest writers of our time.

P.S. I have no children or grandchildren, but do have a beloved collection of stuffed animals. Mostly bears, my favorites.
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on March 24, 2013
The Oddkins, which I just discovered, and devoured in less than two days, was published back in 1988. I've read other books by Koontz, but I hadn't realized that he wrote children's stories. Also, I, like many other readers, identify Koontz with horror fiction, but this is a falsehood since Koontz has written many different genres. Nevertheless, Koontz likes to get a bit dark, and the Oddkins is no exception.

We don't really need to speak to the quality of the writing. The Oddkins is very well written, and to say the least, it holds one's attention. You can't help it; you'll keep turning the pages. It's the characters and the fantasy that Koontz created that fascinates. There's Gibbon, who has all the information about the toymaker and the Oddkins history. Then there's Amos, the teddy bear and leader of the group, the alpha, the omega. There's the cavalier cat, Patch, the elephant named, Burl and others. You'll be invested and worried about them right from the start. Along the way, Koontz does not fail to offer some well-meaning morals;

"And if you're always dreaming about being something you're not, then you'll never have time to appreciate the joy and wonder of what you are."
[Butterscotch the dog].

The story is about Isaac Bodkin, a toymaker that imparted magic into his toys. He built in love, thus created life. At his death, his creations must undertake a quest to contact the new toymaker, Colleen Shannon, chosen by Isaac to take his place. Amos, and his fellow Oddkins must travel to the city to find her. Now you begin to worry. How will a bunch of stuffed animals travel to the city? How will they find Colleen?

Here's where the dark comes in - there is another set of toys, led by an evil marionette name Rex. They have been packed away in the sub-cellar of Isaac's toy store, and it isn't until Isaac has died, and Isaac's goodness is weak enough, that they come alive. They, the evil toys, have a goal too. Like the Oddkins they must connect with their new toymaker, a toymaker chosen by the dark one, his name is Nick Jagg. These bad toys want to make children's lives a misery. Rex and his miserable cronies have weapons, and their goal is to destroy the Oddkins before they can reach Colleen.

There is a bit of ripping, tearing and some stuffing leakage, but this is Koontz, remember. The story is a race of good against evil. Isaac can be viewed as God and there is a Satan (the Dark One), who remains in the background and drives the evil characters on.

I don't want to be a spoiler so I won't tell you how the story ends. I will tell you that this is a super fantasy, and I highly recommend it. If you are concerned about children being frightened by the content, I recommend that you read it first - you'll enjoy it.
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on March 28, 2013
My fifth grade teacher read Oddkins to my class, and since then, I have always thought it was the greatest book ever written. It is one of those books that can be a fun and whimsical story while being dark and dangerous. For me, it's a great mix between a light-hearted novel, and a dark and twisted children's book. The themes are the classic good vs. evil, but the characters are so much fun and the adventure that they go on is epic in scale. For the good toys to travel the distance they do, and interact with the things they interact with leads to a great race that will keep anyone with a sense of imagination on the edge of their seat. I am so glad that this book is now available for the masses at a great price (I worked a summer job at the age of 15 to save up for a good copy on ebay), and I hope new comers find it as enthralling as I do.
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on February 21, 2013
I love this book. A friend was looking for it (it is out of print) so I got a used copy for her, but while waiting to give it to her I flipped through it. I first noticed the illustrations, which are (though few) amazing. I bought a copy for myself just to have those luscious illustrations to look at. Then (in typical "me" fashion) I noticed it was available on Kindle and bought it to read the story. The writing is as vivid as those illustrations. As an adult I loved it, but I know my younger kids would have really loved to have this story read to them, spent time poring over the artwork, even drawn Oddkins of their own. I gave it 5 stars because 6 weren't available.
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on September 15, 2012
I have been reading all the 'Odd Thomas' books, and I had no idea this book existed! I thoroughly loved this book.

I would love to see a follow up with a new complete story on each toy and the child they are assigned to. Maybe the children and toys could all tie in together in another book and then, later as adults. Maybe the child of Butterscotch, could recognized her spirit in dog that she adopts later as an adult. Maybe, it is revealed that Odd Thomas was given one of these toys as a child.

This storyline was wonderful,there are so many things that could be done with it. I'm glad I finally broke down and got a iTablet and started using kindle, or I would have never known about books like this!
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