Cover image for Otto's orange day : a Toon book
Otto's orange day : a Toon book
Publication Information:
New York : Toon Books, 2008.
Physical Description:
40 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
GN 480 L Lexile
After a genie fulfills Otto the cat's wish by turning the whole world orange, Otto realizes that his favorite color is not the best color for everything.


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When Otto the Cat meets a magical genie, he knows just what to wish for: he makes the whole world orange! At first, this new, bright world seems like a lot of fun, but when his mom serves orange spinach for lunch, Otto realizes that his favorite color isn't the best color for everything.

Author Notes

Frank Cammuso, who drew Otto's adventure, lives in Syracuse, New York, where he is the award-winning political cartoonist for the Syracuse Post-Standard. He is the Eisner-nominated creator of Max Hamm Fairy Tale Detective, selected as one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2006 by Booklist, and is at work on Knights of the Lunch Table, a middle school version of King Arthur and his Knights. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice and Slate.

Jay Lynch, who wrote Otto's story, was born in Orange, NJ (honest, ORANGE, NJ!). He now lives in upstate New York with his wife, his dog, and way too many cats. He is the founder of Bijou Funnies, one of the first and most important underground comics of the Sixties, and for many years wrote the weekly syndicated comic strip, Phoebe and the Pigeon People. He has helped create some of Topps Chewing Gum's most popular humor products, such as Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Two veteran cartoonists collaborate to create a comic-strip-style book for beginning readers. Otto, an orange cat, receives a mysterious lamp from his aunt. While dusting it off, he releases the genie that resides within and is offered a wish as a reward. Otto declares that he would like everything in the world to be orange, his favorite color; however, after his wish is granted, the results-including a bad-tasting orange lamb chop and an orange-only traffic light that causes car accidents-soon cause him to have second thoughts. With the help of Aunt Sally Lee, Otto outsmarts the genie and sets things right. Each page features one to four panels, and the bulk of the story is told through dialogue balloons. The cartoons are lively and colorful. Clear chapter divisions, a clean graphic design, and large-size print make this title more appropriate for early readers than most comic-book offerings. Still, true beginners may have trouble with some of the vocabulary and struggle to follow the narrative flow. Offer this to book readers with a bit of experience under their belts and an interest in comics and cartoons.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

(Primary) Comic books meet picture books in these three titles that demonstrate the power of the comics format for young readers and listeners. In Silly Lilly, Rosenstiehl introduces the four seasons through a preschooler's experiences, with each season receiving only a snapshot (for example, during the summer, Silly Lilly sees rocks, fish, and a creature in a shell), but with Lilly visibly growing as the year progresses. All text appears in conversation balloons, reinforcing in (or introducing to) young listeners the relationship between the words they hear and the words printed on the page. In Hayes's book, mouse siblings Benny and Penny squabble about playing together, and here the profusion of frames helps pace the action, while the simple vocabulary and familiar situation ("Benny, what did you do to Penny?" "Nothing!") allow beginning readers to call this one their own. Otto's Orange Day is a takeoff on the King Midas story with three chapters and a small twist at the end -- just enough to keep beginning chapter book readers on their toes without being overly challenged. Palettes change from book to book. Silly Lilly is all bright colors with uncluttered illustrations; Benny and Penny employs pastels that add a sweetness to the sometimes harsh treatment Benny gives Penny; and Otto, of course, is all about orange, dramatically showing how too much of a good thing is, well, too much. [Review covers these titles: Otto's Orange Day, Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, and Silly Lilly and the Four Season]From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Young Otto loves orange so much that when a sly genie rises up out of an old lamp he receives from Aunt Sally Lee, he uses his one wish to turn all the world that color. His ensuing bliss changes to blues, though, after he gets a gander at his orange lunch and then sees what happens on the street when every traffic light is the same color. Cammuso illustrates comics veteran Lynch's tale in neatly drawn sequential panels, casting Otto as a cat (marmalade, of course) in human dress and pairing him with a blue, distinctly Disneyesque genie. Discovering that said genie hasn't eaten in 880 years, Otto cleverly calls on the persuasive power of pizza to reverse the wish, and by the end all's well. Low on violence and high on production values, this comics-format "Toon Book" will leave emergent readers wishing for more. (Early reader. 5-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Written by 60s underground comic guru Lynch and Eisner-nominated Cammuso, who also did the artwork, this book in the new TOON imprint gives emerging readers a high-quality comic that is both loads of fun and easy to read. It's a simple, archetypal story: Otto, a little orange-loving cat, wishes everything was orange, but when a genie grants his wish, he realizes that he should have been more careful what he wished for: orange lamb chops . . . Blaach!!! This is a textbook example of how to use page composition, expanding panel size, color, and stylized figures to make sequential art fresh, energetic, and lively. With the particular pedigree of the book's creators, however, one can't help but miss avant-garde subversiveness that made Little Lit books (e.g., Strange Stories for Strange Kids, 2001) for older children so thrilling and unique. Even without that element, though, this book is sure to engage a new generation in the art form; kids will want to read it once, then return to it again and again.--Karp, Jesse Copyright 2008 Booklist