Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Utterly Otterly Day

Utterly Otterly Day

Mary Casanova
Illustrator:  Ard Hoyt 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416908685

Just like most young creatures Little Otter believes that "he's a big otter now." He is sure that he knows how to take care of himself and he does not listen to the words of caution that his parents send his way. He is far too busy to listen or to pay attention. There are times in fact when Little Otter just does not realize how dangerous the big world is. In fact, Little Otter is sometimes so busy eating or playing, swimming or generally having fun, that he does not even notice the dangers around him.

One morning he goes out to explore and while he is busily crunching some clams he almost gets snapped up by a large eagle. Later he almost gets squashed by a large falling tree, and he is almost chomped by a large angry snapping turtle. Each time Little Otter escapes by a whisker – and he really does not appreciate how lucky he is.

Then something happens that shows little otter that he still needs his family very much indeed and that he is not as big as he thought he was.

This book is truly delightful. With great skill the author and illustrator have captured Little Otter's irrepressible personality and, as we watch him explore his world, we can laugh at his adventures. Little children will come to realize that it is, at times, quite hard to be "big," and it is all right to need their family when they are scared or in need of comfort.

Full of wonderful sounds words and with amusing illustrations throughout, this is a book that children will come back to again and again.

Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt have very successfully created several other picture books together including Some Dog and One Dog Canoe.