**The New York Times bestseller and companion to Otis, the official 2013 Jumpstart Read for the Record selection!**
Otis and all his farm friends are enjoying a summer's day, but the bull has no interest in playing and stays in his pen. Suddenly the day turns frightening and stormy: it's a tornado! Otis takes all of the animals to safety, but the bull is still locked in his pen! Quick as his tires will take him, Otis putt puff puttedy chuffs back to the farm to save the day.
Otis, a diminutive and unusually sensitive tractor, befriended a lonesome calf in his eponymous 2009 debut. In this earnest sequel, Otis and his calf buddy join a cow, some ducks, and a horse "for a grand game of follow-the-leader," with Otis motoring along, "putt puff puttedy chuff." Despite his popularity among livestock, Otis avoids the farm's hulking, rust-red bull, which Long pictures looming across an entire spread. The hostile bull lowers his thick head and flares his nostrils, and his hooves trample daisies in a wry allusion to The Story of Ferdinand. One stormy day, Otis senses danger "deep down in his pipes" and sees a tornado dipping from a slate-gray cloud. Leading the animals to safety, he remembers the bull, still locked in his corral. Like Lassie on wheels, Otis chugs to the rescue (the famers have leapt for the root cellar, and the other animals lack the tractor's keen perception, not to mention self-sacrificing nature). Long's sepia-tinged, rolling croplands evoke Dust Bowl paintings and photos, and Otis's heroism is steeped in old-fashioned Americana, from 1930s picture books to 1960s TV dramas. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
- Carrie Hane Hung
Otis is a farm tractor.. The farm animals are his friends and together they play follow-the-leader. One animal, a bull, will not join them. None of the animals get close to the bull because he snorts and glares at them. Not even Otis can get the unfriendly bull to join in the play. A terrible storm arrives and there is a tornado, moving toward the farm. The worried farmers dash quickly down into the cellar and leave the frightened animals locked in the barn. Otis frees the animals from the pens and they hurry to Mud Creek on the lower end of the farm where it is safer for them to wait out the twister. All the animals huddle together except the bull who was still locked in his pen. Otis rushes to rescue the frightened bull and all the farm animals wait for the tornado to pass. The illustrations clearly feature the characters by muting the background colors in shades of gray. This story would make a great addition with Burton's books like Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel or Katy and the Big Snow. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The tractor with the big heart is back in another adventure. Life on the farm is fairly peaceful, except for a menacing bull, which frightens both the tractor and the farm inhabitants. Otis and the animals keep their distance from him—until the day a storm arrives. The tractor knows "deep down in his pipes" that the approaching tempest is no ordinary storm, so working fast he helps his friends find cover in Mud Creek. But from that safe spot the group can hear the dreadful cry of the bull, locked in its pen and smack in the path of the speeding tornado. True to his nature, Otis rushes to the rescue and together they find shelter from the twister. Long offers readers a tender tale with exquisite artwork. The large, gouache-and-pencil illustrations feature unusual perspective and outlined forms with bold dashes of color that contrast with earth-tone backgrounds. The pictures have a retro quality that matches Otis's vintage perfectly. Children will be delighted with this story about friendship.—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
Loren Long grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. He pursued graduate-level studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago after graduating with a BA in Graphic Design/Art Studio from the University of Kentucky. After graduation Long worked as an illustrator for a greeting card company in Cincinnati before beginning his career as a freelance illustrator.
Since then, Long has received numerous accolades for his fluid WPA painting style. He has been awarded two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and has been frequently selected for their annual exhibition and book. His work has also appeared in many other major annual exhibitions such as American Illustration, Communication Arts, Step By Step Graphics and Print.
Long’s clients include Time Magazine,Reader’s Digest,Forbes,The Wall Street Journal,Atlantic Monthly,Boy’s Life,Land’s End,Sports Illustrated and HBO. He has also illustrated book covers for numerous publishers and has recently concentrated on illustrating books for young readers where his work has garnered much recognition and praise.
The United Nations chose to hang in their lobby Long’s painting of a firefighter in action, along with 21 other selections from the Prevailing Human Spirit Show at the Society of Illustrators.
Recipient of the Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration, presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for I Dream of Trains. The book was also selected as one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2003.
Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award.
Illustrates New York Times #1 best-seller, Mr. Peabody’s Apples
To learn more about Loren Long and his books, go to www.lorenlong.com