Monday, April 30, 2012

Review #117: The Order of Odd-Fish

Gracie (age 11):  We are reviewing The Order of Odd-Fish, and it is SO weird. 
Isaac (age 13):  It is crazy.  You will never read anything else like this. 
Lily (age 9):  It's very odd.  And you don't know what's going to happen next... so it's also kind of fishy. 
Isaac:  Silly.  And sometimes it's nerve-racking and suspenseful.
Dad:  From the very fist page we could tell this book was a little different.  But when did we know this book was totally off the rails?  When did we know that we were in for a very strange experience?
Gracie:  The flying head.  The first weird thing that happens is Mr. Cavendish's head flies off...
Dad:  Well, that's not the FIRST weird thing.
Gracie:  Oh yeah... before that, there's this giant talking cockroach...
Dad:  That's not even the first weird thing.
Gracie:  There's a guy with this weird digestion...
Dad:  THAT's not even the first weird thing!
Lily:  HA ha ha ha!
Gracie:  Colonel Korsakov comes along and he's got this magic digestion that tells him what to do.  So it's like... 'okay, that's weird.'  But by the time you get to the 3rd chapter in the book, talking digestions don't seem weird at all because Mr. Cavendish's head flies off and starts buzzing all over the room!
Lily:  It was very crazy.
Gracie:  The main character is Jo, and she works at a diner.  The only people in the whole town are old senior citizens.  Her Aunt Lily, who is kind of nutso, finds this black box, and she says, "I'm going to do a magic show!"  She stuck the box on Mr. Cavendish's head and cranked it, and Mr. Cavendish's head popped out of the box and started flying around!  And there was this crazy lady who started throwing waffles everywhere trying to hit the head.  All the old ladies were like, "Catch him! Bring him back!" And all the old men were like, "Go, Mr. Cavendish! Be freeeee!"  That's when we first thought, "What the heck is up with this book?"  I was laughing so hard.
Dad:  Okay, let's back up.  Tell me more about our main character Jo.
Gracie:  Jo is all mysterious.
Lily:  When she showed up as a baby, a note came with her.  "This is Jo.  Beware... she is a dangerous baby."  Bum-bum-BUM!
Isaac:  There was a really bad prophecy about her that said she was a monster called the Ichthala. 
Gracie:  It's going to destroy the world.
Isaac:  But Jo doesn't want to become a monster.  Everybody wants to kill the Ichthala.  But they don't know that it is Jo -- only she knows.
Gracie:  She feels like a living lie.
Isaac:  She doesn't know what to do.  She wants to tell somebody, but everyone will freak out and hate her.
Dad:  So that's something you don't always see... The main character of our story is the hero AND the villain.
Isaac:  There were lots of villains.  Ken Kiang is a millionaire who is attempting to be evil.
Gracie:  He wants to be the most evil person ever, but he can't because the Belgian Prankster is the worst.
Lily:  The Belgian Prankster can pluck his nose off and grow a stinger.  He also is really good at making balloon animals.
Gracie:  And he filled the Grand Canyon with tapioca pudding.
Dad:  Tsk tsk... how evil of him.  And tell us, what exactly is the Order of Odd-Fish from the title?
Gracie:  The Odd-Fish live on this island.  Jo and her friends get there after being swallowed and spit out of a big fish.  Colonel Korsakov was like, "Halleluiah! I'm in a giant digestion!"  The Order of Odd-Fish is an organization made up of all these knights that study ludicrous things.  Like... the leader is Sir Oliver, and he studies "Dithering."  Sir Festus studies insane weaponry.  Sir Alasdair and Dame Isabel study weird musical instruments and interesting smells.
Lily:  All the knights get a flying ostrich, and they ride all around on them.
Isaac:  The book has very weird creatures. 
Gracie:  Flying ostriches, talking cockroaches, Nangnangs, the Schwenk...
Isaac:  The Schwenk is a creature with four wings and it's very colorful.  It likes to be hunted.  Colonel Korsakov has a quest...
Gracie:  He's the "digestion" guy.
Isaac:  He has to capture the Schwenk.  That was his life's goal.  But the Schwenk always gets away before he catches it.
Lily:  There are also howling squids.  Jo and her friends go over to a big pit and get swallowed up into water. Then they ride around on squids in the diamond-walled tunnels and get chased by evil underground monkeys.
Gracie:  It's not something you see everyday.
Lily:  It's freaking awesome.
Gracie:  This is nothing like any other book.  It's so weird. This guy has an awesome imagination.  I love whoever wrote this book.  James Kennedy rocks. 
Dad:  The book is packed full of crazy.  So much more.  We haven't even begun to scratch the surface.
Gracie:  Kids will love this book... Unless you are some abnormal kid that likes broccoli and is all serious about the world.

underground squid riding, by Lily

Mr. Cavendish's flying head, by Gracie

Ken Kiang rides the schwenk, by Isaac

Author: James Kennedy
Published, 2008: Random House
Like it?  Here it is


James Kennedy said...

James Kennedy here. I'm so delighted that you enjoyed "The Order of Odd-Fish"! And the art of the Schwenk, and underground squid riding, and Jo chasing the flying head -- exquisite! You are truly the TALENT FAMILY, for I'm a huge fan of your 90-Second Newbery videos for "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" and "The Black Cauldron." I hope you make something for our 90-Second Newbery Film Festival this year, too -- the screening will be in Chicago on February 3, hosted by Blue Balliett and me. I hope you can come so I can meet you at last. Thanks again for such a nice review and such gorgeous art! Do you mind if I link to it from my own blog??

Z-Kids said...

Hi James! You may certainly link up - it would be an honor! Feel free to grab anything you'd like.

We are excited about the 2nd 90-Second Newbery film festival! We've already got some plans in mind for our next video. And, yes, we'd love to make it to the screening this year - will be good to meet you!

All best to you!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I missed your entries to WMCIR - you introduce very interesting books, and your kids' artwork is amazing! Thanks for joining WMCIR!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Hm...your review does make me curious as to what this book is about. the flying head trick! Great sound effects Lily..."Bum-bum-BUM!"

Now I'm off to check out if I can see your "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" video.

Blessings & Aloha!