Otter Play

Overview

In a boat on the river with his parents, a child watches the river otters at play. While the parents cast their lines, the otters swim and dive, fish for their own meal, and watch the small boy watching them. This is a joyous celebration of the lives of these appealing and playful animals, and of the day and night a child and his parents spend together. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 4-8. Pub: 4/98.

A child watches otters at play and ...

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1998 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 32 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

In a boat on the river with his parents, a child watches the river otters at play. While the parents cast their lines, the otters swim and dive, fish for their own meal, and watch the small boy watching them. This is a joyous celebration of the lives of these appealing and playful animals, and of the day and night a child and his parents spend together. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 4-8. Pub: 4/98.

A child watches otters at play and mirrors their behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A quietly lyrical text and warm watercolors fairly dance as the rhythms of a child's day on the river echo those of an otter family. From their meeting in early morning, when the child launches his boat as the otters slide waterward from their muddy burrow, to their parting at day's end, when the boy crawls into a sleeping bag and the otters "curl together in a dark, warm ball," this tale delights in the simple, often strikingly similar activities of humans and otters. Luenn's (Mother Earth) assured text reflects both respect and relish for otterplay. Vojtech (Ten Flashing Fireflies) creates a cozy ambiance through softly lit scenes of plump figures surrounded by rolling hills and rising riverbanks. Framed vignettes detail such natural wonders as bunchberry, trout, mud tracks or dragonflies, while double-page spreads of landscapes reveal a larger perspective. This memorable encounter whisks readers away on a frolic, but quietly lulls them back for bedtime. Ages 4-8. ( Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--Seated in his parents' small fishing boat, a little boy observes an otter family swimming, diving, and eating. The spare text sets some nice parallels between the child and the animals: "Crunching bones,/the otters eat/while I munch/on an apple." The device is comfortably revisited rather than a constant, forced pattern. Some of the passages focus solely on the activities of the mother otter and her three pups: "Bellies plump,/otters loll/upon a sunny log./They wash/their fishy whiskers/clean." The river venture is portrayed in softly shimmering watercolors, sometimes in pairs of facing single-page scenes, and most often in full double-page spreads featuring the playful animals, the nearby family, and pretty mountain scenery. Vojtech uses a particularly attractive framing device, surrounding the pictures with images of water and fish or plants and sky. This layering of foreground and background deepens the perspective, providing viewers with much to savor. Phrased as congenial blank verse, the text offers a felicitous array of words for reading aloud or independent enjoyment. A nighttime scene brings the day to a satisfying close, and the final page adds a bit of factual explanation about otters.--Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
In a brief text, Luenn (Mother Earth, 1992, etc.) explores the parallels between a family of humans and a family of otters a few yards away who mimic each other through a peaceful day on the river, fishing, enjoying a meal, swimming, horsing around, settling down for the night. In framed, slightly misty watercolors, Vojtech artfully poses the two groups on facing pages: child and otter stretch identically, splash with the same verve, wrestle with a parent, then snuggle, one in a sleeping bag, the other in a burrow, to dream. The otters' play of expressions may be anthropomorphic—especially on the book jacket, where they look as if they are laughing—but their gestures and postures, like the lightly detailed setting, are natural and accurately depicted. A playful, inventive way of connecting young viewers to the natural world. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689811265
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/10/1998
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.35 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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