By: Kathy-Jo Wargin
Illustrated by: John Bendall-Brunello
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: February 1014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 2014
The little otter’s eyes widened in surprise as he looked at the sign the ranger had posted. Even the gnarly old roots of the tree looked as if they couldn’t believe it. Nope, all the otters had to stay in that water. Not even so much as a paw could come out. A rule was a rule, but the little otter had other ideas. His tail whirled around as he twisted and turned in the water. Splash! Splash! A little girl and boy with their dog crawled toward the river bank to take a peek at the little otter. “But what if that otter / jumps OUT of the water? / Would you shout hip-hooray? / Would you ask him to play?” Hmmm, just what were they going to do?
Mud began to fly as the children slid through some on their bellies as the little otter looked on. Next they started down the path home and he hopped and bopped and jumped behind them. It sure did look like that little otter wanted to come along. No thanks. They hid in the bushes, but that crafty little guy knew they were there. Surprise! “And what if that otter is right on your heels? / Will you run, will you jog. / will you jump like a frog? / Will he follow you through an old hollow log? What if that otter is right on your heels?” It looked like trouble because when they arrived home he opened the screen door to let himself in. What on earth were they going to do with an otter in the house?
This is an adorable story of an otter out of water that little ones will love. The mischievous little otter, who just didn’t want to follow the ranger’s directive to stay in the water, was a real charmer. The wide-eyed children simply don’t know what to do when that little guy begins to follow him around. There’s a delightful twist at the end that young and old will love. The artwork is lively, whimsical, and is very appealing. This tale, especially if read by someone with an expressive voice, would be perfect for circle or story time. This story in rhyme is fun, full of action, and just the tale for real live mischief makers!
Quill says: This delightful tale of a little otter out of water will make your little ones laugh as he rambles through the pages of this book!