Seamless transposition of the atmosphere and ethos from classic film noir against his signature eccentricity and wit contribute to making ‘Ottoline and the Yellow Cat’ the latest highly distinctive and original offering from Chris Riddell.
Ottoline, daughter to two adventurers, finds that her parents’ activities influence her twofold. Firstly she has inherited a sizeable portion of their curiosity and intrigue as to the world that surrounds her in and around the pepperpot shaped P. W. Huffledinck tower. Secondly, sustained absence of her parents constitutes an ideal base from which exploits, mystery and escapades are able to be had in the firmest traditions of children’s literature!
Accompanied by the solemn, unbedgrudging constancy of the sombre, but ever-true Mr. Monroe, Ottoline finds herself embroiled in attempts to uncover the strange happenings that are afoot concerning the disappearance of the city’s dogs.
Utilising cunning, guile and the skills and specialties of the various employees who cater to each of her needs during her parents’ absence, Ottoline exposes the plots and ploys of the phantom pooch pilferer whose influence has outstretched across the city.
Opulent in feel and imaginative in focus, this makes a welcome addition to any bookshelf and, like its eponymous protagonist, readers will doubtless find themselves subject to similar collecterly urges! A crisp, clear and affectionate prosaic style belies the immediacy of Riddell’s inspiring illustrations ‘ reproduced here in a striking red and black two-tone print that harkens back to the earlier reprographic production of children’s comics.
Exceptionally high production values, a format that is ideal for small hands and a loving attention to detail give a solid backbone that bodes well for the future of the series. Secrets, surprises, style and sophistication make this a superbly special story of sleuthing’ a standing ovation for the astounding Ottoline!