Blockbuster author Dean Koontz's first novel for young listeners, a beautifully illustrated and visually stunning story about a magical band of living toys who learn to overcome the fears we all face in the dark
Toymaker Isaac Bodkins created the Oddkins, a group of living toys, for very special children who face difficulties in life and need true friends. There's Amos, the brave stuffed bear; Skippy, the rabbit who dreams of being a superstar; Butterscotch, the gentle, floppy-eared pup; Burl the elephant; the wise and scholarly Gibbons; and Patch the cat. The Oddkins are given to children to inspire, support, and love them, especially during times of adversity. Only now, the toys themselves are the ones who need help. Before he dies, Mr. Bodkins delivers a dire warning to Amos the bear: Watch out for an evil toymaker and his dangerous creations! Locked up in the dark sub-basement, another group of toys is climbing out of boxes and crates and coming to life as well. These bad toys - like Rex and Lizzie, the puppets with no strings; Gear, the vicious robot; and Stinger, the horrid buzzing bumblebee with his knife-sharp stinger - were made to hurt children, not help them.
Leering, laughing, and deadly, they are let loose into the world by a terrifying force. Frightening as it may be, the Oddkins must go on a journey to find Colleen Shannon, Mr. Bodkins's chosen successor as a life-giving toymaker and the only person who can save them. The stormy night is perilous and the Oddkins face a danger that threatens not only their magic...but the magic in us all.
©1988 NKUI, Inc., Airtight Graphics, and The Land of the Enchantment (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is a very unusual Koontz, although this has some classic Koontz elements, it seems like it was targeted to kids, and much of the book is quite kid appropriate, particularly the beginning (which is good) and the end (which is very good). Unfortunately the rest of the book is, well, at bit odd. One problem with this as a kid’s story is the nature of the antagonist. The bad guys are just plain evil. Literally, direct toy & human minions of Satan. For adults this simplistic evil is somewhat boring, for a kid it is somewhat beyond comprehension. This same story, with a non-Satanic yet challenging adventure, could have been a pleasant family classic. The narration was good, but not exceptional.
I've always like fairy tales but as anyone that really knows fairy tales, they were never meant for children until they were sanitized with happily ever after endings. Dean Koontz has done much the same thing with this tale of fantasy and fairytales for all ages beginning with a story of magical toys. These toys are made specifically for children that are good and destined to do great things when they get older, the toys will be their guides until they too loose the innocence of youth. But after the good toymaker dies before passing on his special magic they toys must find the one person that can inherit the good magic and will help them and their kind before the evil toys take over. Their mission/adventure is immense when you think about it; leaving the safety of the toy shop, the only world they have ever known, to cross a city in the dark on a stormy night and all the while must not be seen by any adults. They have no map, no knowledge of the world outside but they have job to do and they have faith. A bear, Amos, who was tasked with this job and his companions, a Rabbit that wants to be a stand up comedian, a Cat that fancies himself a dashing swashbuckler, a Dog who is so sweet and innocent it will make your heart ache, and an elephant that dreams of one day walking the grasslands of Africa with his much larger cousins. And last but not least a toy that resembles a prehistoric creature that we can only guess at but is older than the other toys and wiser in many ways. And behind them are evil toys who have awakened and whose only mission is to stop them. Lead by an evil Jack in the box, a Lolita with a cigarette that can burn, a very large and nasty bee with a huge stinger and a robot that can tear things apart with its metallic spinster like arms. In the mix is an ex con who has just been released from prison and HATES everyone and everything and is also tapped to be the next evil toymaker and the nephew of the now deceased good toymaker who has trouble believing in anything he can not explain. It is a journey through darkness that will have the toys confronting each other in, of all things, a toy store. Leave your logic behind and enter the world that Dean Koontz has made for us and enjoy the fairytale. I would certainly play it for my grandchildren even as old as they are for magical toys are something everyone can relate to, I know I had a stuffed toy that I told all my secrets to, my hopes and dreams and my heartaches. She was the best friend I ever had. This brings back good memories of my special friend always with me, knowing I was safe as long as she was there. And I've found a new fairytale for my younger nieces and nephews and some day my great grand kids.
Amos because he never gave up no matter how afraid he was.
I liked the way he voiced the characters
It made me smile as I fondly remembered my special friend
I think it is a new fairy tale for the next generation
This is one story I would let my grandchildren listen to. It is such a cute book. Didn't know Koontz had such a cute side to him. Wonderful book.
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