Otter Moon

Otter Moon

by Tudor Humphries
     
 

In the land of the otters, Flibberty lay in his secret place, watching the moon rise and daydreaming instead of catching fish. So the King of the River sets him a seemingly impossible task: to find and serve him a great fish on a silver dish before daybreak.
With the help of his friend the heron, Flibberty sets off downriver—far, far away from home. But… See more details below

Overview

In the land of the otters, Flibberty lay in his secret place, watching the moon rise and daydreaming instead of catching fish. So the King of the River sets him a seemingly impossible task: to find and serve him a great fish on a silver dish before daybreak.
With the help of his friend the heron, Flibberty sets off downriver—far, far away from home. But will he ever fulfill the King’s demands?
Tudor Humphries’s breathtaking artwork captures the young otter’s unforgettable journey—the magical night, deep blue waters, and new day, dawning bright.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Humphries's (Hiding) splendid watercolors follow an otter's all-night journey (“Night was Day for him, and Day was Night”) in this story about two friends on a curious quest. “Catch me a fish,” the King of the River commands Flibbertigibbet the otter, “and it had better be on a silver dish.” Distracted and discouraged, Flibbertigibbet searches through the night with no success. His friend, Heron, standing on the riverbank, urges him on: “Use your eyes; use your wits.” In the end, an unexpected source serves as the dish, the Heron helps Flibbertigibbet with the fish and all's well. Humphries writes with skill, striking a balance between lyric touches and a sturdy narrative, but it's his limpid paintings of night on the river—the lavenders of sunset, deep midnight blues, the pinks and oranges of dawn—that make the work stand out. He paints a magical world that is part of this one, yet independent of it (no humans appear). Readers whose imaginations are fired by the secret lives of wild creatures will treasure the otter's story. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Sweeping watercolor views of a river flowing through wooded terrain suggest that this will be a realistic nature story. However, the fanciful tale of a playful young otter bedeviled by an elder takes anthropomorphic and murky turns. Flibbertigibbet loves the moon. "He watched its face in the water.... He'd been sent to catch fish, but he had been chasing froglets and newts instead." Flibberty's lollygagging is cut short by irascible King Otter: "Catch me a fish, and it had better be on a silver dish." The demand for a silver dish is perplexing to the young otter, and likely will be for some readers as well, for tableware is nowhere in evidence in this watery world. The otter spends the night in fruitless search, encouraged by a kindly heron. At dawn, when the hungry old otter appears once more, a fish is dropped from on high by the heron, "slap…on the shimmering dish." Although the pictured "dish" looks very much like a white crockery plate atop the water, it is apparently the reflection of the silvery moon. Though the metaphor is a bit strained and the tone sentimental, Humphries has a way with words and a good hand with a paintbrush. The hapless youngster abetted by a kindly guardian will probably be satisfying bedtime fare for some children.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
An otter with the soul of a poet goes on a moonlit quest. Flibbertigibbet sleeps all day and prowls his woodland world by the light of the "freckly" moon, admiring the wonders of nature. One night, King Otter disturbs his reverie with an insult and a demand: The "lazy" Flibbertigibbet must catch him a fish on a silver dish before first light. Flibberty swims quickly downstream and, upon surfacing, gets an offer of help from majestic Heron. The duo travels in tandem for miles, nearly to the sea, further than Flibberty has ever swum. It's nearly morning, there's no sign of Heron and no sign of a fish; Flibberty rounds a bend and there stands King Otter, awaiting his meal. All seems lost until a (nearly literal) Hail Mary pass saves the day, and turns this odyssey into an allegory. Humphries's lyrical prose, festooned with internal rhymes and wordplay, is perfectly matched to his beautiful, dusky watercolors. They shine with a silvery light, investing the adventure with a suitably majestic magic. First-rate. (Picture book. 6-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906250690
Publisher:
Boxer Books
Publication date:
08/04/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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