Utterly Otterly Day

( 1 )


Little Otter likes to play in a carefree, unabashed, utterly otterly way.

Mom warns Little Otter, "Be careful!"

Dad says, "Stay close!"

But does Little Otter listen? Oh, no! No. No. No. Little Otter thinks he's a big otter now, big enough to take care of himself. But watch out, Little Otter, because no matter how big you get, it's good to have loved ones looking out for you.

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Little Otter likes to play in a carefree, unabashed, utterly otterly way.

Mom warns Little Otter, "Be careful!"

Dad says, "Stay close!"

But does Little Otter listen? Oh, no! No. No. No. Little Otter thinks he's a big otter now, big enough to take care of himself. But watch out, Little Otter, because no matter how big you get, it's good to have loved ones looking out for you.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Little Otter feels that he is a big otter now. Despite warnings from Papa, Mama, and the seagulls, he is off on his own, cracking clams, swimming with the fish. Beaver cautions him as a tree falls nearby. He dives down and just misses Turtle's mouth. He steals a fisherman's bait and runs happily away. But suddenly a cougar menaces. Mama and Papa shout a warning; Little Otter luckily tumbles safely out of reach. The family is soon back in the den. A wiser Little Otter realizes, "He needs his family." The text is a terse accompaniment to the visual action, with an occasional rhyme, the repetition of "He's a big otter now," and many accompanying noisy sounds like "whippidy, slippidy," or "Milky, silky, swish!" Hoyt's energetic pen-and-ink and transparent watercolor illustrations portray the appealing young otter in his watery environment, beginning with the end pages of the happy place where fish and frogs enjoy gentle wavelets. The otters and associated characters are muscular and sculptured, particularly the slinky cougar whose determined features appear in the staring eyes of Little Otter. His look of defeat almost makes us sorry for him. The final scene of family togetherness with contented smiles shows the other side of the emotional divide. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS- Little Otter speeds through his day at breakneck pace, from the moment he wakes up and rouses his sleepy family to his spine-tingling sunset escape from a hungry cougar. In between, he eludes a falling tree, an eagle, a snapping turtle, and an angry fisherman. After each escape, he tells himself that "he's a big otter now," and swims away with typical preschooler bravado. His close call with the cougar leaves him shaken, however, and he retreats to the safety and comfort of the den. As he accepts some parental snuggles, he admits that "He needs his family-/no matter how big he grows." Alliteration and onomatopoeic phrases ("whippidy, slippiddy," "swishily swashily") combine to give a sense of the hustle and bustle of Little Otter's day. Sketchy watercolor drawings with multiple perspectives lend a feeling of constant movement, while the recurring image of a yellow butterfly ties the story together. As Little Otter falls asleep, he dreams of being carried away by a swarm of them, demonstrating that he is bold even in his sleep. Though a few of the illustrations are unclear, and the book is a bit too long to maintain its breathless pace, Little Otter is a likable hero with familiar childlike traits. Additionally, there is just enough information about otters to whet readers' appetite for further research.-Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Otter play gets its visual due in this adorable tale of one little otter's determination to prove "he's a big otter now." At the beginning of a bright new day Little Otter is intent on having as much fun as possible. He cracks clams-"Clickety, clunkety, crunch!"-floats with fish and avoids a panoply of dangers. A run-in with a voracious cougar ends happily but reminds Little Otter that no matter how big he grows, he still needs his family from time to time. Hoyt has a good feel for what makes these freshwater scamps so endearing; his Little Otter is a joyful, gleeful, mischievous critter full of pep and vinegar. And the image of the nasty cougar filling Little Otter's eyes as she pounces makes for a mighty impressive two-page spread. Casanova's onomatopoeic rhymes may take some practice before they fall trippingly from the tongue, but once mastered they complement the art to a tee. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416908685
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 496,081
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ard Hoyt has illustrated a number of books, including the New York Times bestsellers I’m a Manatee by John Lithgow and The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson. Ard lives with his wife and five daughters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008

    Applause from a MN Children's Librarian!

    I just read Utterly Otterly Day, and it's adorable! What a great story, and such wonderful illustrations! I love how Mary Casanova's words fill the story with such a sense of motion--she clearly knows her otters--and Ard Hoyt's whimsical pictures fit the text perfectly! I can't wait to use this book for storytime--I just know the preschoolers will adore Little Otter and his utterly otterly day.

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