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Otter Out of Water

Otter Out of Water

5.0 1
by Kathy-jo Wargin, John Bendall-Brunello (Illustrator)
Have you seen an otter at play in the water? It's long and it's trim and it knows how to swim. It rolls and it spins. It twists and it grins. What if one day that otter jumps out of the water? Would you ask him to play? What if that otter follows you home? Would he bounce on the chairs? Would he skid down the stairs? The author-illustrator team who created Scare a


Have you seen an otter at play in the water? It's long and it's trim and it knows how to swim. It rolls and it spins. It twists and it grins. What if one day that otter jumps out of the water? Would you ask him to play? What if that otter follows you home? Would he bounce on the chairs? Would he skid down the stairs? The author-illustrator team who created Scare a Bear and Moose on the Loose will once again have readers laughing and guessing. This time the hilarity involves an otter out of water!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wargin (S Is for Snowman) plays in the loopy “what if” territory of Laura Numeroff’s If You Give... series with this story of a river-dwelling otter that follows two kids home and causes chaos. Most of the book is written in second-person, and the rhyme scheme is suggestive of a campfire singalong: “Now what if that otter follows you home?/ Will you hop, will you skip?/ Will you whistle and yip?/ Will you hide in the bushes to give him the slip?/ What if that otter follows you home?” Working in loose watercolor and pencil, British illustrator Bendall-Brunello (Peep Leap) creates a mischievous, friendly-looking otter and two siblings that look nervous about their furry pursuer but warm up to him, feeding him popcorn for lunch and giving him a bath in the kitchen sink before animal control finally arrives. It’s only in the final pages that the story falters, with the narrative suddenly switching to first-person (“So what happened to us on that very next day?/ We better not say”) and ending inconclusively with a full-scale otter invasion. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Otters seem like acrobats in the water, twisting and turning with ease. But otters do not always stay in the water. In fact, they live in underground burrows near the water’s edge and are quite adept on land. So what trouble can a curious otter get into when he ignores the park ranger’s warning to stay in the water? From the author-illustrator team behind Moose on the Loose and Scare a Bear, this whimsical adventure follows a pair of siblings who are alternately delighted and horrified by the river otter that follows them home from the park. Told in a series of “What if..?” questions, this rhyming picture book bounces along with lively verbs and engaging animal antics. The pastel-colored illustrations reinforce the book’s humor, and observant young children will enjoy following the dog’s reactions to each new development in the story. Rhyming words appear in a slightly larger type size and bold font, a thoughtful design element that supports emerging readers. With easy-to-read text, rising tension, and non-stop action, this book is a fine read-aloud for preschool and early elementary classes. The question format will naturally invite readers to respond and consider how they would react in hypothetical situations. Teachers can tie the book to habitat studies, careers, or community helpers (thanks to the appearance of a trusty park ranger), rhyme, and discussions of animal behavior. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Wargin and Bendall-Brunello team up again, this time asking their young readers, "But what if that otter/jumps out of the water?/Would you shout hip-hooray?/Would you ask him to play?/Would you clap?/Would you stomp?/Would you go for a romp?/What if that otter jumps out of the water?" The comical story continues as the mischievous creature follows two children home and begins to cause trouble. Wargin includes plenty of jaunty, interactive rhymes, making this story an excellent read-aloud. Bendall-Brunello's illustrations are colorful and droll, matching the humorous tone of the text, as does the font, which is as bold and energetic as the impish otter. Children will laugh along with its playful antics and particularly enjoy the surprising and appropriately silly ending, in which the otter's whole family arrives to cause even more hilarious mayhem.—Laura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
The age-old trope of an animal following someone home is taken to new levels in this look at an otter out of water. An otter in the water is a fascinating creature, but what if he leaves the water? What if he stays out and follows you home? Two children experience just such a thing in Wargin's imaginative verse. A ranger finally tracks the otter to the children's house, but will he stay away? Probably not--too much fun has been had. Unfortunately, the verse doesn't always scan well either rhythmically or visually; the rhyming words are set in a larger font, but some are on the right-hand pages and some on the left, and often lines are split in two to fit the page layout. The result is often confusing and may trip readers up instead of helping them along. "What if the otter / remains in your house? / Would he bounce / on the chairs? / Would he skid / down the stairs? // Would he swing / on the curtains / that hang in / neat pairs? / Do you think an otter belongs in the house?" This otter is sure to remind readers of the beloved mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, but this tries too hard to rhyme, and the story gets a bit lost in the telling. Stick with Numeroff for her if-then tales, and look to Eric Pinder and Marc Brown's If All the Animals Came Inside and Judi Barrett's romps for more animals-acting-like-people humor. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD420L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Otter Out of Water 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
The little otter’s eyes widened in surprise as he looked at the sign the ranger had posted. Even the gnarly old roots of the tree looked as if they couldn’t believe it. Nope, all the otters had to stay in that water. Not even so much as a paw could come out. A rule was a rule, but the little otter had other ideas. His tail whirled around as he twisted and turned in the water. Splash! Splash! A little girl and boy with their dog crawled toward the river bank to take a peek at the little otter. “But what if that otter / jumps OUT of the water? / Would you shout hip-hooray? / Would you ask him to play?” Hmmm, just what were they going to do? Mud began to fly as the children slid through some on their bellies as the little otter looked on. Next they started down the path home and he hopped and bopped and jumped behind them. It sure did look like that little otter wanted to come along. No thanks. They hid in the bushes, but that crafty little guy knew they were there. Surprise! “And what if that otter is right on your heels? / Will you run, will you jog. / will you jump like a frog? / Will he follow you through an old hollow log? What if that otter is right on your heels?” It looked like trouble because when they arrived home he opened the screen door to let himself in. What on earth were they going to do with an otter in the house? This is an adorable story of an otter out of water little ones will love. The mischievous little otter, who just didn’t want to follow the ranger’s directive to stay in the water, was a real charmer. The wide-eyed children simply don’t know what to do when that little guy begins to follow him around. There’s a delightful twist at the end that young and old will love. The artwork is lively, whimsical, and is very appealing. This tale, especially if read by someone with an expressive voice, would be perfect for circle or story time. This story in rhyme is fun, full of action, and just the tale for real live mischief makers! Quill says: This delightful tale of a little otter out of water will make your little ones laugh as he rambles through the pages of this book!