Sept. 4 2012, Mel Parker Books, 180 pgs
"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 themselves. 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.
With Oddkins, his first book for young readers, Koontz introduces a magical and dazzling world of toys and terror, good versus evil. Oddkins is a fable for our time, a deeply moving story for all ages"
Absolutely delightful and decidedly Christian tale about good vs evil and life after death. Knowing Koontz is Catholic I wasn't surprised at the open Christianity of this story but I was surprised to find such a story coming from a mainstream publisher (Warner, originally). A brilliant, beautiful story that I would read more than once. Not sure on the age group here though. For under tens: if the child is confident that "He can do all things" then they should be fine knowing that the evil will be conquered by those following God. However, if they have any fear that evil can win over God then the book will be too scary for them. This is Koontz after all! The illustrations are charming and I found that they actually took the scary factor down a notch, making the characters not quite so scary looking as I would have imagined them in my head. Really a fantastic story, just loved it!