An Otis Christmas

An Otis Christmas

by Loren Long

Hardcover

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Overview

A new Christmas classic from the #1 bestselling creator of Otis and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could.

"Charming and full of the warmth and love of friends and family, this choice is lovely for sharing."--The Repository


It's Christmas eve on the farm where Otis and all of his friends live. The farmer has given Otis his first real Christmas present--a shiny new horn! A tree has been decorated, a big snowstorm is on its way, and all of the animals are excited. Best of all, one of the horses on the farm is about to give birth to a foal! Yet in the middle of the night the horse begins neighing in pain and when the farmer says, "We'd better get Doc Baker out here or we'll lose 'em both," Otis knows the horse is in trouble. Snow has been falling hard for hours and the roads are unpassable. How will they got Doc? Otis to the rescue! He knows a shortcut through the woods and he arrives at the doc's house flashing his headlights and revving his engine. When Doc fails to awake, Otis uses his new horn. Then, with Doc in tow, he races back to the farm just in time for a Christmas miracle . . . and the arrival of a new friend to play with.

A warm, feel-good Christmas story featuring everyone's favorite tractor, Otis, the friend you can always count on. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

 

Praise for OTIS
           
* “Long’s gouache and pencil artwork is stunning with a red and cream main character against a sepia-toned monochromatic background. The overall effect is nostalgic and comforting as readers bond with the determined little tractor . . . the satisfying conclusion that speaks of a place for everyone is sure to ring true to children.” —School Library Journal, on Otis, starred review
 
“Hearkens to the golden age of picture books, with a style and tone that recall the work of Virginia Lee Burton and Munro Leaf.” —Booklist, on Otis and the Tornado
 
“Children will be delighted with this story about friendship” —School Library Journal, on Otis and the Tornado
 
Fans of Otis will not be disappointed with the satisfying ending that results in a creative solution and a most happy reunion. Seek this out—“game on!” —Kirkus Reviews, on Otis and the Puppy

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

09/16/2013
Otis the tractor returns in a grim holiday story with odd allusions to the Nativity story. A horse on the farm is set to give birth on Christmas Eve, but when a “big snow” makes the roads impassible, Otis must save the day after the horse is found ailing (“We need Doc Baker out here tonight or we’ll lose ’em both,” says the farmer). Long’s illustrations are typically heroic as Otis attempts a risky midnight drive, but adults and children alike may be perplexed by the glow emanating from the barn when the foal is born, the star marking on its forehead, and the news that “people from all around the valley came... to get a glimpse of the Christmas foal.” Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)

School Library Journal

12/01/2013
K-Gr 3—Otis is back, this time anticipating Christmas and the birth of a new foal. To add to his excitement, he receives a new horn, his first Christmas present ever. His joy is short-lived, however, when, in the middle of a snowy night, he overhears that the mare is sick: "We need Doc Baker out here tonight or we'll lose 'em both!" When the farmhand sent to get Doc plunges into a snowdrift during the raging storm, Otis, as always, comes to the rescue, setting out "with snow up to his chin." He gets lost in the woods only to discover that he is perched on the precipice of a hill. Bravely heading down a steep, slippery branch, he reaches the doctor's house, alerts him with his horn, and brings him back to save the day. The grayish-blue hues that predominate in Long's lovely, large-framed illustrations create a sense of cold stillness. Executed in gouache and pencil, they depict the red tractor in sharp contrast to countryside and woods blanketed in deep snow. There are few surprises here, and the tree branch jutting from the hill seems forced. Traveling down the branch leads Otis a bit too conveniently almost to Doc Baker's door. Otis's fans may turn to this one, but it is an additional purchase.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

Kirkus Reviews

2013-09-01
As the title indicates, the little tractor Otis celebrates Christmas. Christmas is always exciting, but this one is "even more special," as a baby foal is due. That snowy Christmas Eve is made more thrilling yet when the farmer gives Otis his very first Christmas present: a new horn. Otis can barely contain himself. But in the middle of the night, he awakes to hear the sounds of consternation in the pregnant mare's stall: "Something [is] very wrong." Unfortunately, the snow is falling fast, and the stable hand sent to fetch Doc Baker promptly fishtails into a snowbank. It's Otis to the rescue again. Off he goes, "putt puff puttedy chuff," through the woods (where he is briefly lost) to Doc Baker's, where he uses his new horn to sound the alarm. Doctor and tractor make it back just in time. While Otis is a charming character, and the Christmas theme has great appeal, this is a rather lackluster outing for the sturdy tractor. Long's heroic art is at its best in scenes with people and animals, his Lawson-esque line investing characters with emotion and movement. The rendition of Otis' journey is rather less effective; only the most credulous of children will accept the sight of Otis inching his way down a massive, snow-covered tree trunk. The text likewise underwhelms, with its overreliance on exclamation points and treacly delivery. A rare miss for Long and Otis. (Picture book. 3-5)

From the Publisher

The New York Times bestseller!

* "Otis the Tractor returns in a Christmas story of courage and friendship set in a terrible snowstorm at the farm. When the mare's labor becomes difficult on Christmas Eve, a vet is needed--but the truck is stuck in a snowdrift. Otis makes a brave decision: He'll get Doc. Plowing through the woods on a rescue mission, he finds himself on a difficult path. Long's text conveys not just the danger, "treacherous, slippery," but also Otis' effort, "putt puff puttedy chuff." . . . The illustrations wonderfully enhance the story, from the joy of the animals prancing around the Christmas tree to Otis' expressive response to the events around him: pride in his gift, concern for his friend, determination to arrive at his destination. Highlighting the always-changing perspective, aerial scenes give readers a sense of the big, snowy picture. Long's palette reflects the coldness and heaviness of the snow, and then lightness as the farmer prays for a miracle. The view into the barn door, once all is well, is reminiscent of another barn birth, and the text reads, "Well, would you look at that!" That sums things up nicely."--Booklist, starred review

"Charming and full of the warmth and love of friends and family, this choice is lovely for sharing."--The Repository

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399163951
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Series: Otis Series , #4
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 153,407
Product dimensions: 11.10(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

Customer Reviews