Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome in the Spring with a Good Book -- Utterly Otterly Day and Utterly Otterly Night by Mary Casanova (Reviews)

  • Reading level: Ages 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416908684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416908685
  • Buy now at Amazon for only $16.99.

Utterly Otterly Day Summary:

Little Otter likes to play in a carefree, unabashed, utterly otterly way.

Mom warns Little Otter, “Be careful!”

Dad says, “Stay close!”

But does Little Otter listen? Oh, no! No. No. No. Little Otter thinks he’s a big otter now, big enough to take care of himself. But watch out, Little Otter, because no matter how big you get, it’s good to have loved ones looking out for you.

My Thoughts:

I fell in love with this adorable otter the moment I laid eyes on him, on the front cover.  And, as I flipped through the pages and read this cute story to my daughter, we couldn't help but enjoy the mischieveous behavior and spunk that the little otter exudes.  This story follow little otter, as she encounters dangerous scenerios, while enjoying a day out without his parents.  Each and every time, he is warned by his parents and those around, but little otter is "a big otter now," and needs to be able to explore and handle situations, in order to grow and mature.  It is not until he is cofronted by a furosis couger, that he becomes scared, tumbles down the hill, eventually hiding out with his family in their den.  Then, Mama and Papa Otter snuggle and clean him up, letting Little Otter know that no matter how big he gets, he will always need his family, and his family will always be there for me -- guiding and protecting him.  What a great book to share with little ones who think they are old enough to take on the big, wide world.  This cute story will let them know that you are eager for them to explore and grow into their own person, but that they need to heed caution, all while knowing that you will be there for them, whenever they need you. 

The illustrations in this book, by Ard Hoyt, are brilliantly done and really bring this story, and Little Otter's adventures to life. 

  • Reading level: Ages 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416975624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416975625
  • Click here to buy at Amazon for only $12.74.

Utterly Otterly Night Summary:

Utterly Otterly Night is the fifth picture book for the team of Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt, and the second book in the “Utterly Otterly” series. The Utterly Otterly stories are wonderful for reading aloud. Children and adults alike will enjoy the playful language and adventures that Little Otter finds himself in

My Thoughts:

This is the perfect compilation to Utterly Otterly Day, as it continues Little Otter's adventures, this time occurring at night time.  Ard Hoyt provides  pen and ink illustrations again in this lovely children's book, that have children fall in love with this cute little otter, as he swooshes and wooshes around, up and down in the wintery terrain, until he encounters a pack of wolves.  What will happen to Little Otter?  Will his family come to his rescue?  Both you and your child will love reading this story, the second in the Utterly Otterly series.  This story again reaffirms the importance of family, and how your family will always be there for you.

Again, this is a book worth adding to your child's book collection, both for the heartwarming and playful story, as well as the beautifully eye catching illustrations.

About the Author:

Mary Casanova is an award-winning children's author of novels and picture books. Many of her books stem from her life on the Minnesota-Canadian border; yet some of her stories have taken her as far away as France, Norway, and Belize for research. Whatever the setting for her books, Casanova writes stories that matter--and stories that kids can't put down.

Her book awards include: American Library Association "Notable," Aesop Accolades by the American Folklore Society, Parents' Choice "Gold" Award, Booklist Editor Choice, and two Minnesota Book Awards. Her books frequently land on state children's choice book master lists across the country. "The greatest reward for me," Casanova states, "is when a young reader tells me she or he loves one of my books. For me, it's all about communicating writer-to-reader through a character and story."
Casanova grew up in a family of ten children in St. Paul, Minnesota. In a bustling camp-like atmosphere, Casanova found that writing became her voice. "Words are my paintbrush," she explains, "my way of exploring the world around me."

Now, with 19 books published and many more under contract and forthcoming, she divides her time between writing and traveling. Nationally and internationally, at schools and conferences, Casanova shares her love of writing and reading with children and adults.

About the Illustrator:

Ard Hoyt has illustrated a number of books, including Utterly Otterly Day, One-Dog Canoe, Saying Goodbye to Lulu, When the Cows Got Loose, and the New York Times bestsellers I'm a Manatee by John Lithgow and The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson. Ard lives in Bentonville, Arkansas with his wife and five daughters.

Disclosure:  I was sent copies of these books by the author and publisher, in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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