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Big Top Otto
     

Big Top Otto

by Bill Slavin, Esperanca Melo (With)
 

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This second title in the Elephants Never Forget trilogy finds the sweet-natured elephant Otto and his parrot sidekick, Crackers, hitting the rails as they travel across America in search of Otto's good friend Georgie the chimpanzee. In the first book, Georgie was snatched from his home in Africa by the evil Man with the Wooden Nose, and Otto and Crackers have been

Overview

This second title in the Elephants Never Forget trilogy finds the sweet-natured elephant Otto and his parrot sidekick, Crackers, hitting the rails as they travel across America in search of Otto's good friend Georgie the chimpanzee. In the first book, Georgie was snatched from his home in Africa by the evil Man with the Wooden Nose, and Otto and Crackers have been tracking down clues to his whereabouts ever since. They catch a lucky break when a retired circus bear named Birdy tells them she's seen Georgie with the Punkratz and Pinky traveling circus. But just when Otto and Crackers think they're closing in, they become enmeshed in a series of high-speed escapades involving a small-town football game, a car dressed like a peanut and even an exotic animal smuggler! It's just one challenge after another for the pair. And are they any closer to finding Georgie?

The talents of award-winning author and illustrator Bill Slavin are on full display in this funny and heartwarming graphic novel series. The detailed illustrations are loaded with visual humor, the twisting plotline is full of adventure and suspense, and the endearing characters are lovable and memorable. Perfect for emerging and reluctant readers, these books are sure to be in high demand. Otto's unrelenting determination to let nothing stop him from finding his friend also lends this series to character education lessons on caring, initiative, perseverance and teamwork. And a subplot of the story raises social justice awareness regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Nonthreatening, nonstop mayhem ...—Kirkus Reviews

Slavin slips in a lot of humorous asides to entertain grown-ups while providing a comical adventure with just the right amount of danger for younger readers.—Booklist

Slavin is a skilled illustrator and storyteller, and he brings these talents to this graphic-novel series. The full-color art is traditional in style, and the illustrations, particularly of Otto, add humor to an already funny story.—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 3–6—Otto is traveling the American countryside, along with his friend Crackers the parrot, in search of his chimp friend, Georgie, who has been kidnapped. Falling into one humorous situation after another, the elephant finds himself accidentally impersonating a sports team mascot, in jail, and, ultimately, at the Punkratz and Pinky Traveling Circus. In his pursuit of Georgie and the kidnapper, he discovers a dark side to the circus when he finds himself in a room surrounded by taxidermied animals. As it turns out, animals are being sold from the zoo and hunted. Using his peanut allergy for comic relief (apparently, it's not dangerous for elephants to be allergic to peanuts–it only makes them sneeze explosively), Otto unwittingly saves the day. Following leads and hunches brings Otto and Crackers close to finding Georgie, but the book ends on a cliff-hanger, which will leave young readers eager for the next book. Slavin is a skilled illustrator and storyteller, and he brings these talents to this graphic-novel series. The full-color art is traditional in style, and the illustrations, particularly of Otto, add humor to an already funny story.—Liz Zylstra, County of Prince Edward Public Library, Picton, Ontario
Children's Literature - Raina Sedore
Otto always finds his way into the center of the action. In this second volume of the “Elephants Never Forget” series Otto and his sidekick, Crackers the parrot, ricochet from setting to setting. They confront travel by train, a football game, a creepy mansion, and—the centerpiece of this tale—a circus! In every one of these places, Otto is looking for his monkey friend, Georgie. Slavin illustrates this wacky story with engaging, friendly, and colorful pictures and a wide variety of page layouts. Otto the Elephant is a somewhat clueless character, constantly confusing every monkey he sees with Georgie. Crackers has trouble managing Otto’s conundrums, but in this volume, they end up bringing down an illegal poaching ring! In this adventure, they make friends with a bear (and her dog) and a black panther. Kids looking for kooky animal adventures will enjoy these hijinks, and it will fit in well alongside other graphic novel fun for all ages. Reviewer: Raina Sedore; Ages 8 to 12.
Kirkus Reviews
Otto the peanut-allergic elephant cracks another case. Still looking for his missing childhood friend, Georgie the chimp, and fresh from helping the big city cops bust a gang of hoodlums, Otto and his sidekick, Crackers the parrot, make their way across the country. This time, they're following circus Punkratz & Pinky, which, if the posters are to be believed, may be where Georgie ended up after being abducted by the man with the wooden nose. Leaving a trail of inadvertent destruction (thanks to Otto's explosive allergic sneezes), they catch up to the circus only to find it's a front for exotic-animal smugglers...and Georgie has moved on. Can the bumbling duo save their new animal friends? The slapstick and goofy situations (Otto dresses as a clown; is mistaken for a football mascot; drives a peanut-shaped car) in Slavin's second full-color graphic adventure will entertain even if several jokes are well above the reading level. It's also a bit disturbing that animals wearing clothes and speaking are still treated like animals (and hunted for sport) by humans; but the old-timey feel should win fans and please those already established. Nonthreatening, nonstop mayhem…next stop: Tinseltown! (Graphic adventure. 8-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554538072
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Series:
Elephants Never Forget Series
Pages:
88
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
GN330L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Bill Slavin is an award-winning children's book illustrator with over 50 books to his credit. His works include Stanley's Party and The Bear on the Bed He lives in Millbrook, Ontario.

Bill Slavin is an award-winning children's book illustrator with over 50 books to his credit. His works include Stanley's Party and The Bear on the Bed He lives in Millbrook, Ontario.

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