Customer Reviews: Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages
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on April 10, 2001
My teacher Mrs.Peet read this to my class when I was in 3rd grade. I'm now in 5th. Since then I been trying to find a copy,but it's always been out. Thanks Mrs.Peet. Hannah S.
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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 5, 1999
I have read this book to my 4th. grade class for the last 11 years...... I have tryed to make up a different voice for each the main characters.... We have even put on a school-play based on the part of the book that takes place in the department store....the kids love getting dressed up in the costumes that I had made up ..... I love when kids come back( who are now in college /high school) and ask if I still read the story of the Oddkins....
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on September 29, 2012
When you think of children's authors, you might think Rowling, Lewis, Seuss. But Dean Koontz? Definitely does not spring to mind. Yet, he did write a children's book and, you know what, it's pretty darn good. The Oddkins would best be described as a classic battle between good and evil. A good toy maker has been making toys, the oddkins, magical toys which come alive for children just when they need them. However, the toy maker is dying without having contacted his successor. If she is not contacted quickly the toy shop will be taken over by an evil toy maker who will only make toys to hurt children. So begins an epic journey by a small but stalwart band of intrepid oddkins to go to the city and find the woman meant to take over the shop. Pursuing them is a group of evil toys who will do anything to stop this from happening.

Oddkins is a fun read with all the components of a Dean Koontz novel except, thank goodness, the schmaltzy romance. The Manichean battle between good and evil, the dangerous journey through that dark and stormy night and, of course, the happy ending. Along the way, there are lots of adventures, close calls, and, in the case of one oddkin, some really bad but somehow endearing poetry. The good characters are very, very good and the bad ones, well, they're pure evil.

However, what makes this book a real standout are the marvelous multi-coloured and vibrant illustrations by Phil Parks. Not only are they very easy on the eyes, they really complement the story, adding a dimension which would be lacking without them.

The Oddkins will likely appeal to children more than to adults. Although a good moral is the whole point of a fable, at times, all the platitudes and moral preaching get in the way of the story. Still, put that aside and concentrate on the adventure (and especially the illustrations), and you've got a terrific story to read to your children when the monster under the bed comes a-calling and they need to believe that good always trumps evil.
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on September 27, 2012
Let me start out by saying how excited I was to be able to read this on my new Kindle Fire HD because the illustrations really add a lot to the story. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this story, and to be honest, I am still not. I have been a fan of Dean Koontz's for many years - to be honest he is one of my favorite authors. But, I have to say that I don't really think the writing was up to par for me. I know that the story is geared more toward kids - at least I would think so - but I still think the writing lacked a little.

The premise of the story is something that I did love. To think of these "Oddkins" being created to help children through rough times in their life - I loved that! I have a favorite stuffed animal from my childhood that I took everywhere with me, and each of my girls have think that these could have `magic' to help see us through was a great idea. And, add in the Charon toys and you have a true good versus evil story. After the Oddkins maker, Uncle Isaac, dies in the beginning, the toys set out on a journey to bring in the next toymaker, a journey this is extremely important because the longer it takes, the better chance that something bad can happen in the toy factory, and evil forces are certainly at play. I loved the fact that two of the evil toys were marionettes...come on, who doesn't think these are creepy?

Overall a good story and one I think I would have thought was better if I wasn't such a diehard fan of his other work. Give it a shot though as I don't think you will be disappointed.
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on December 10, 2012
I love this book! But when I couldnt get it in print I decided to get the kindle version. The kindle version does no justice to the beautifully drawn pictures. And some of the pictures look like scans and are waaaayyyy over processed. It's sad because the book is so amazing! And the pictures make the book so much more. But for 5.00 when you can barely find the book, it was worth it to get the story to read my kids.
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on January 9, 2013
The part I loved best was the ending, as the lady toymaker completed her repairs. Also enjoyed the over the top evil toys in a way. It's like looking evil in the face and identifying its purely bad intentions, recognizing evil that is beyond being reformed and must be completely conquered and destroyed.
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on September 21, 2012
It's Dean Koontz - I expected the story to be good and it was. I had a stuffed elephant when I was a kid. His name was Elephant. I can still believe in the magic of toy animals and Koontz does well in supporting this belief.
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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 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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