Welcome back, Otto. Glad you’re here to stay

GO, OTTO, GO!

From the Adventures of Otto series

Almost a decade and a half after crash-landing on Earth in See Otto (2002), Milgrim’s lovable robot is back and thinking about returning home.

“See Otto.” Readers see Otto looking at a family portrait of two adult robots and one child robot. “See Otto look at his home” reveals the robot peering through a telescope. An expansive, wordless double-page spread following shows Otto looking up at the stars, the family picture clamped in one “hand,” before getting to “work, work, work” in subsequent spreads. “No, Otto, no!” readers may well protest as they watch the robot hammering and welding scrap metal into a booster-rocket backpack, and it’s clear that’s what his animal pals are thinking as they bid him adieu. But although Otto goes “up, up, up,” with an “uh-oh,” Otto goes “down, down, down”—then left and right, and then “here” (through a desert) and “there” (past some penguins), ultimately only to get “nowhere.” As in the earlier installments in the Adventures of Otto, Milgrim combines very few words arranged in easy-to-decode patterns with a perfect balance of laugh-out-loud slapstick and honest emotion—here, real pathos—for a rich, complete story readers just taking baby steps toward literacy can manage. When Otto looks up from the wreckage to see his jubilant friends and realizes he’s “looking at his home” and his found family, readers will feel the complexity of his emotions.

Welcome back, Otto. Glad you’re here to stay . (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-6724-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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