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Ollie's Odyssey

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,088 ratings  ·  220 reviews
Can a beloved but lost stuffed rabbit save himself and other Losts from becoming the most feared designation of all: The Forgotten? Find out in this epic quest from the author of The Guardians series and the creative force behind The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Oswald is a favorite. Of all the toys in Billy’s home, the stuffed rabbit takes top rank: every
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (first published August 25th 2015)
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Brett The descriptions do some out before the finalized book is published, so I am guessing the name went through a change before making it to publication. …moreThe descriptions do some out before the finalized book is published, so I am guessing the name went through a change before making it to publication. The final book is Ollie, short for Oliver.

I remember the description for The Guardians of Childhood: The War On Dreams by William Joyce, which had teased the introduction of Jack Overland Frost. But when the book came out, he had been completely omitted and saved for a later project. Descriptions just come out before the books do. Strange, huh?(less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,088 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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William Joyce is so talented. I didn't know he did full novels, but this is a full middle grade novel. I do feel it is focused for a younger audience, but the climatic scene is pretty intense with war images. There is a sweetness to Ollie, the stuffed toy and Billy his owner. It seems to perfectly capture that relationship between child and a favorite toy.

I also love William's choice of words and how he describes things in here. They have a-ventures together and kisses are slobber etc etc. Ther
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 8+, and younger kids who don't get scared easily
My co-worker at the library thought about reading this, and then decided against it because Kirkus gave it a somewhat negative review, saying that this has "been done before." Well Kirkus can suck it, because although it's true that this story was probably somewhat inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit, "Toy Story," and even perhaps "The Brave Little Toaster," it's still one of the most unique middle grade novels I've read in awhile.

Ollie's Odyssey is about a hand-made toy bunny (or is he a bear? or
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounding up.

While undoubtedly inspired by many classics of the genre (like The Velveteen Rabbit or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, or the comic The Stuff of Legend, Omnibus One amongst others), this book manages to both revere that comparison, while at the same time breaking free to tell it's own story.

THough there are some minor "Grim/Dark" overtones, this is still an engaging, fast-paced read, suitable for middle-grade readers (or perhaps adults who are young-at-heart), and
Rachel Fellows
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
I really wanted to like this. I really did. I wanted to love it based upon the cover alone. Rich, creepy illustrations, beautifully bound. But the writing itself didn't grab me like I had hoped it would, based upon the illustrations. I felt it was too "kid friendly" and there were some annoying (to me) writing ticks used by Joyce that I just couldn't get past: all of the purposefully bad grammar and all of the unnecessary quotation marks. Grated on my nerves.

Story wise, there were some pleasant
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my 9 year old and he said "it was awesome" so that's my review! ...more
Jennifer Armstrong
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: third-grade
I'm just about a third of the way though this but am enjoying it thoroughly and looking forward to hand-selling this. It is a perfect read-aloud chapter book for young ones who have enjoyed The Velveteen Rabbit. It will also be a great choice for those strong readers who are still very young, who need a challenging read but aren't ready for more mature middle grade fiction aimed more at 10 and 11 year olds. ...more
Chyenne Bertrand
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't cry often. Last book I cried with was the later Harry Potter books.
Book almost brought me to tears in the first chapter.

It's a cute little story that's warm and suspenseful at the same time.
Made me think back to my first 'favorite' toy.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for parents to read aloud to their children. Chapter 4 particularly stands out to me...a stand alone chapter that is one of the best pieces of children's lit I've read... ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'd heard about this book, and couldn't wait to pick it up. Ollie's Odyssey is a story about a boy, Billy, and his toy, Ollie. Ollie's is Billy's favorite, and one day Ollie gets toynapped, and the rescue mission begins!

It sounded like an absolutely adorable story, and it was! I think everyone can relate to a story about childhood, about a favorite toy.

The writing was in the POV of either Billy or Ollie, and I thought it was well done by William Joyce. Oh, and the illustrations - wow they are w
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
I really loved this. I loved the connection between Billy and his favorite toy Ollie. I loved the way they talked about the world around them, that breaking the rules was "illegal", that during their play times they were going on an A-venture and that brave was something to have "I hope I have enough brave to do this". I also loved the pictures. It was an easy, fun, read that I think would appeal to a lot of kids. I can picture parents having as much fun reading this to kids as kids would have r ...more
Sarah Merida
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-childrens
This story really made me feel. The bond between the child and his favorite toy brought me great nostalgia about how realistic my favorite toys were to me when I was growing up. The themes of love, loyalty, bravery, and remembering were inspiring, especially because of the age of the characters. I loved the silly child-like language and the delightfully creepy illustrations. The ending was not as predictable as I expected, which is always a plus! I didn't want this one to end. A must-read for an ...more
Apr 13, 2016 marked it as to-read
This looks like an updated mish-mash of The Velveteen Rabbit and The Nutcracker. I've only skimmed it but the pictures are delightful so I've decided I need to read this at some point. ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is so incredibly sweet. I am a sucker for a good fairy tale or a story with a sweet world and good morals. I know that in the future I can read them to the children in my life. This book would make an incredible bed time story time, creating cherished memories chapter after chapter andnight after night. As I was reading this it came to me that this is like Toy story meets the Labyrinth. Just a beautiful tale of friendship and love. A beautiful book all around.
Jennifer Shaw
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read this after my 10 year old recommended it. We both thought it was really good. Unique, heart warming, well written.
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I want to hug this book and to kick it downstairs all at once. And that's why I'm typing to unload everything that's making me love and hate this book at the same time so I can finally find some peace.

I want to give this book five stars and one star all at once. And that's why I'm giving it three.

Why, book?

First, the good.
The best part is so good it must be written in caps.
THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE SUPERB. THEY ARE ALMOST PERFECT. They are heartwarming and lovely, and beautifully painted, and I love
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
What I hoped would be a charming story turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Like Joyce's guardian books that are in the 6-8 year old range, this one felt drawn out without a fluidity in the narrative. Toward the end it felt like a bunch of random, but conveniently available, characters were dropped in to help the plot along. I feel that Joyce's writing style is better suited to the storybooks. His sandman picture book was excellent.

Also, some of the scenes were quite dark and not really
Thomas Ray
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super cute! I really like this.
Amber M. McCarter
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was sweet. And introduced thoughts about the world, our place in time, at a depth that I think would be just about right for young kids. I'm going to test it out on mine next :) ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This children's book is a speedy read that feels so like being wrapped in a cozy blanket. Little newborn Billy's mother makes him a special toy, and the story follows the duo as they pass their days together. With a kind of cognition and vocabulary that is found only in the extraordinary minds of children (and their toys), this novel is perfect for anyone who needs a few warm fuzzies in their life. ...more
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a print copy of this title from Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

Top Book of 2016 pick!

Ten Second Synopsis:
When Ollie, Billy's favourite homemade plushie, is stolen by the henchman of a vengeful carnival clown, events are set in motion that will challenge the worlds of both toy and boy. As Ollie and Billy fight to find each other, unexpected allies will answer the call of friendship.

We had our collective eye on this from the moment we saw the cover and read the blurb, but we were
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a read-aloud with my 10-year-old son. I chose it one day at the library based on the promising synopsis, the lovely illustrations (and they are certainly lovely), and a brief skim of the first chapter.

From the start, this book was, indeed, promising. While not beautifully written, it was a story of a small boy and his favorite toy and my son and I both enjoyed their relationship and the stories of their time together. I never expected this to be one of my favorite books, but I had hopes
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
genre: fantasy

summary: Made with love by a mother worried for her child Ollie was meant to be a favorite. He and his boy Billy go everywhere together. But the favorite has been noticed by a sinister force. Zozo a bitter, forgotten toy, was never a favorite. He and his army of "Creeps" kidnap Ollie. Billy must run away to rescue him...then when Billy is kidnapped by Zozo. Ollie must rescue him and free all the forgotten favorites.

notes: book has lots of illustrations. Zozo & the Creeps look "cree
Kid Lit Reviews
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Top Book of 2016

Ollie’s Odyssey tells two stories, from two generations, and then brings them together for a larger tale. Billy and Ollie are one story, told in the present. Zozo and Nina are the other, told in both the past and present. Each tale is intriguing and has its own vibe. Bonk-a-Zozo takes place in a carnival, which is now defunct, yet still standing in a morbid sort of way. Now known as The Dark Carnival, and a place Billy is forbad from entering. It will take much courage on Billy’s
Kelsey Frost
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is not a kid's book, this is a dark tale of a clown that feels scorned by the loss of his friend a dancer. He then makes it his mission to steal "favorite" toys from children. His army of misfit creeps stake out favorite toys and bring them back to Zozo the clown where they stay underground the decrepit remains of a carnival. Billy loves Ollie and he is his favorite, but what happens when Zozo's army of creeps takes Ollie from Billy? Billy goes on a big adventure to find his missing Ollie. ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This could have just been a book about wondering what happens to favorite toys when you can't find them anymore... does something happen to them?? in the world of William Joyce he creates quite a tale of toys turned evil and good triumphing over all... such an interesting premise .. and the importance of remembering.. ...more
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun toy & boy adventure, sometimes philosophical, sometimes creepy (especially Zozo) always with a lot of heart. Jolly phrases: pg 116 " gentle buffer of sadness" or pg 147 "distracted by the general funness of the world"
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely book for 7 to 11 yr olds and older! William Joyce has the heart of a child:)
Leanne C
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A magical story of bravery and remembrance. Loved it!
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ollie’s Odyssey written by William Joyce is a captivating fictional novel. Ollie is a loving and brave stuffed animal that has one purpose in the world; to keep Billy safe. Billy is a little boy that was born with a hole in his heart. They live in a small town with a carnival ground and a small park that Billy and Ollie go to all the time. One day when Billy has to go to a wedding, he takes Ollie in his backpack. But Zozo and the Creeps steal Ollie away. Zozo and the Creeps have one mission; ste ...more
Sooo. I had liked The Numberlys by Joyce, and was excited to see he had a beautifully printed, illustrated chapter book available. I got it for my daughter, age 8, and read it to her over a couple of weeks. I was quickly disappointed. The grimness of the subject and pictures is awkwardly offset by the use of childish turns of phrase like "A-venture" for adventure and "doing illegals." This vernacular stylizing worked well in Junie B. Jones and in Emma Donaghue's Room, but here is comes off as tw ...more
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William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Numberlys, The Man in the Moon, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, Toothiana, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also an Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives with his family in Shre ...more

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