Oddfellow’s Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin
Newly orphaned Delia doesn’t know what to make of Oddfellow’s Orphanage. She doesn’t know if she’ll fit in, if she’ll be accepted as one of the inhabitants, if she’ll feel right at home. But as the newest addition to the orphanage of the odd and abandoned, Delia quickly learns what it’s liked to be loved and cared for.
In between fairy tale and cryptozoology classes Delia, not only makes friends with the other kids at the orphanage, but also finds time to go on many adventures. Adventures like a sea monster sightseeing trip and finding an endangered species right in the orphanage’s backyard.
There, Delia learns about life, about friendship, but most importantly about love and acceptance. It’s there that Delia learns that blood doesn’t make a family, it’s the people and the lives they share that does.
Oddfellow’s Orphanage, written by artist Emily Winfield Martin, is a debut children’s book that is uniquely charming and delightfully sweet.
Martin has created a book that is full of whimsy, but unfortunately falls short on plot. Oddfellow’s Orphanage is a straight up story, an account of the character’s lives within the orphanage itself. It lacked in having a visible problem and solution for said problem. As a reader I found there was no tension built, no twists, turns, or mystery. But what it did include – mini biographies of the characters, and even adventures the characters have with each other – was well written, and attention grabbing.
The illustrations featured in Oddfellow’s Orphanage are exquisite.Even though they are not bright or flashy – no bright colors or larger than life pictures – but they are warm and inviting. All the illustrations are done in a sepia tone lending to the old-time feel of the story and the book as a whole. Oddfellow’s Orphanage often offers readers portraits of the already vivid character, and depictions of the action-filled bits of the story. Young readers will love the illustrations, but older readers will adore them too because of the beautiful artistry found within each and every picture.
Oddfellow’s Orphanage may fall short in some areas, but the one thing is isn’t short on is love. Even though this is a short chapter book readers will be able to see the love and the attention to detail author and artist Martin has put into this well crafted book.