Baby Sea Otter

Overview

Learn how a baby sea otter grows up

At the edge of the ocean, a baby sea otter is born. The newborn pup is little and helpless. Her mother must protect her from predators like the fierce bald eagles that are always ready to swoop after a baby.

The young otter grows up quickly. When she is old enough to fend for herself, she finds a mate. Soon the sea otter will have a tiny ...

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Overview

Learn how a baby sea otter grows up

At the edge of the ocean, a baby sea otter is born. The newborn pup is little and helpless. Her mother must protect her from predators like the fierce bald eagles that are always ready to swoop after a baby.

The young otter grows up quickly. When she is old enough to fend for herself, she finds a mate. Soon the sea otter will have a tiny pup of her own.

In simple, evocative text and vibrant illustrations, this picture book explores the life cycle of the sea otter.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tatham's (Penguin Chick) animal science book here zooms in on a sea otter mother and her offspring to reveal a host of fascinating facts about this ocean-going mammal. "The mother otter blows air bubbles into her pup's brown fur, where they will be trapped between the top layer of long hair and an under layer of very thick fur. This helps keep the pup warm." Each page offers a similarly interesting detail, covering a range of topics from anatomy to hunting and dining. Paley's (Unbeatable Beaks) bold collage artwork, cut from hand-painted and textured papers, illuminates the pages and brings this underwater world to life. Against swathes of bright turquoise and aquamarine ocean backdrops, the brown otters lazily float in kelp beds. Their rounded, scratchboard-textured bodies give them a cuddly appearance. Under the water, however, the animals transform into sleek gray swimmers diving for food or evading predators, their fur dappled with wavy patterns of light in greenish hues. This straightforward tale offers several mini-climactic moments that present the animals' predators (e.g., birds, sharks, even other otters). At one point, a male otter kidnaps the pup, holding her for ransom ("He will not release the pup until the mother gives him the food she has in her pouch"). An endnote offers additional facts about these sea-faring cousins of the weasel. This accessible book comes full circle when the baby otter grows up to have a pup of her own. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This phenomenal combination of brilliant color, imaginative paper collage art, and informative text will enthrall future marine biologists or any curious kid. Intensely blue waters form the mysterious habitat of an appealingly plump mother sea otter as she glides gracefully through the water caring for her new pup. In the sweet and simple story, the life and times of a sea otter are revealed. More than just another "mama-loves-her-baby" tale (although it is all of that, too) this book actually teaches some science about otters, which are actually members of the weasel family. Within the context of the story, mama demonstrates all the natural instincts and talents of otters as she seeks and cracks open shells for food, matches up with other otters, builds an otter raft, avoids dangerous predators, and teaches grooming techniques to her daughter. Through the richly painted pages the otters float through their share of easy days and dangerous escapades, while the color and hue of the water subtly shifts to indicate changes in the depth and mood of the story. The tale goes full circle when the pup finds a mate and has a little pup of her own. 2005, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 4 to 7.
—Deborah Zink
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A baby sea otter is born and cared for by her mother, who grooms her, hunts for food, feeds her, and saves her from a hungry eagle. Mother and pup spend most of their time in a group of other female otters and their young called a raft. The pup later learns how to dive and hunt, and eventually is left to swim on her own as her mother goes off to hunt. At one point the baby is kidnapped by a male sea otter, but the mother rescues her by giving up the food she has collected. At six months of age, the young sea otter is able to find her own food. And when she is three years old, she is ready to mate. After a five-month gestation period, the cycle begins anew, with a new baby pup ready to learn and grow. The clear, simple paragraphs of text, interspersed with the drama that the otters face daily, will keep young readers interested. Paley's lush blue- and aqua-toned collages add texture and richness. The picture-book format will make this book more suitable for browsing and pleasure reading rather than reports, and the topic will appeal to a wide audience.-DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fact book about otters, this is made more readable by its focus on one mother and her baby. When a baby otter is born, its mother uses her front claws to groom her, then blows air into her fur to help keep her warm. A bed of kelp anchors the new pup while mom dives for food. A furry pouch under each arm helps her hold onto the food. The two are in the company of a larger group of female otters, a raft. Tatham presents the better-known facts about otters-they use their bellies as a table and pound shellfish with rocks-along with ones that are not as commonly known-eagles, the outgoing tide and kidnapping by male otters are among the threats to babies. As the new pup grows older, her mother teaches her to find food, and at age three, she has a pup of her own. Paley's hand-painted and textured papers make the collage artwork especially breathtaking. Furry otters and feathery eagle stand out against a watery backdrop of blues, greens and purples. Beautiful art and solid facts for animal lovers. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805075045
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.58 (w) x 9.82 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Betty Tatham is the author of several nonfiction picture books about animals. She lives with her husband in Holland, Pennsylvania.

Joan Paley has illustrated a number of books for young readers. She lives with her husband in North Scituate, Massachusetts.

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