Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book

Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book

Vivian Kirkfield
Illustrator:  Mirka Hokkanen 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Pomegranate, 2019   ISBN: 978-0764984358

The sun is coming up behind the trees and “a chorus of bird song” fills the air. One willow flycatcher perching on a flower whistles its cheerful song as the last remnants of the night fade away.

In the lake two dragonflies “dance” above the rippling water and below them bonytail chubs swim. One of the fish leaps out of the water trying to catch one of the elusive gem-like insects.

On the bank, a kit fox appears, walking on silent feet. Not far away her three cubs wait to hear from their mother that it is safe for them to emerge from their hiding place.

The clowns of the stage are next. Here are four otters who “toboggan down a slide of mud.” Down they skim on their backs and bellies, and when they get to the pool they throw pebbles into the water, chirruping with delight.

Five burrowing owls have no time for such nonsense. They “pop up” from their burrows to look around, knowing that should danger appear they can dive back into their homes where they will be safe.

In this unique book, gorgeous illustrations are paired with a beautifully crafted, lyrical text to give readers an animal-centric alphabet book that delights the eye and the ear. At the back of the book readers will find further information about the animal species that are featured in the book. Readers are also invited to find seven other animals that appear in the artwork.