A note for parents: Duct tape works well to repair holes torn in snow pants by otter sliding; after reading this book you...

UTTERLY OTTERLY NIGHT

Proving to both his family and himself that he is finally big enough, Little Otter faces down danger and saves his family in this satisfying follow-up to Casanova’s Utterly Otterly Day (2008).

On a moonlit night in snowy winter, the otter family pops out from its holt to play in an “utterly, otterly way.” This consists of belly slides down slippery hills, and the delight on their faces makes it likely that readers will itch to imitate them. But the members of the otter family are not the only creatures about. Papa warns of a hunting owl, and another time, Little Otter barely halts one of his wild rides in time to avoid a collision with huge Moose. But it is at the top of the steepest hill yet that Little Otter gets his own first sense of danger: Five wolves are on the prowl. Scared though he is, Little Otter knows what he must do, and he bravely sets about distracting the wolves, warning his family and narrowly evading teeth and claws. Hoyt’s pen-and-ink illustrations wonderfully convey the playfulness and innocence of Little Otter, his every emotion worn on his sleeve. Casanova's onomatopoeic phrases punctuate the action with infectious glee: "Up and down, the otters play. / They glide and slide, / in a whooshily, shooshily way."   

A note for parents: Duct tape works well to repair holes torn in snow pants by otter sliding; after reading this book you may need a couple rolls. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7562-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

HEY, DUCK!

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Uplifting and inspiring of further research.

SEÑORITA MARIPOSA

A bilingual love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that journey south to Mexico every year.

From a chrysalis on the title page, Señorita Mariposa invites readers to follow the monarch butterfly as it embarks on a journey spanning thousands of miles, “Over mountains capped with snow… / To the deserts down below.” In the same manner, the monarch butterfly exiting the chrysalis at the end of the book then invites readers to flip back to the beginning and restart the journey. Almada Rivero’s warm and friendly illustrations showcase the various people and animals the monarch encounters in its 3,000-mile journey, including a couple of brown-skinned children who welcome Señorita Mariposa to Mexico as the text reads, “Can’t believe how far you’ve come.” Gundersheimer’s recounting of the lepidoptera’s journey is told in a bilingual poem, English set in a serif type and Spanish set in sans-serif. Like the butterfly traveling south and north, the languages switch prominence, displaying in the larger font the principal—and rhyming—language in each spread. Although at times distracting, this technique is a valiant attempt to give equal importance to each language. Backmatter includes facts on the round trip the butterflies undertake, the “super generation” that makes the trek south, and a call to action to protect the monarchs as they slowly lose their habitats.

Uplifting and inspiring of further research. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4070-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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