Goodreads: I Am Otter
Published: April 29, 2014
Otter loves living with Otter Keeper and her best friend Teddy. They always have the best of times–until Monday, when Otter Keeper has to go to work. Otter thinks it isn’t fair that Otter Keeper has a job, but she and Teddy don’t, so they decide to open a restaurant. But Otter is about to discover that running a business isn’t easy. If you enjoy following Otter at her blog, I Am Otter: The Unheard Ramblings of a Modern Day Domestic Otter, you won’t want to miss her literary debut!
I have been following Otter at her blog for awhile now, so the announcement of a book deal was naturally cause for celebration. Now I can physically hold all the cute, fun, and general awesomeness in my hands! Because, believe me, even if you don’t already adore otters, I Am Otter will most likely turn you into a devoted lover of the species.
The book brings readers all the general elements one would expect from the blog–it’s written in Otter’s adorably ungrammatical and somewhat excitable style, features favorite characters such as Teddy and Giraffe, and uses the beautiful (and cute!) illustrations to add humor to the story. However, the book also does an excellent job of introducing new readers to Otter and her world. A quick set-up reveals Otter’s origin and current situation, and then it’s on to the fun! Otters, it seems are all about the fun. And luckily they want readers to share!
I’ve already read this book three times, but the story seems new every time I open the covers. Every time I am captured by Otter’s charm. I experience her fear, her uncertainty, and her joy, the emotions all the more poignant because they go unspoken by Otter herself, but are depicted subtly in the drawings. And that’s not all that goes unspoken. Otter has a tendency to gloss over the truth now and then, when it’s convenient for her, and sometimes her take on a situation is downright ironic. The pictures thus form an integral part of the story, revealing what actually happened and providing some perspective on her narrative. New details in the illustrations constantly catch my attention, making the read almost like a scavenger hunt.
I Am Otter is an utterly charming picture book, one I hope that I will be able to share with many more generations of readers. And one that I can only hope will inspire a series.