Goodreads: Otter: The Best Job Ever!
Published: June 2016
Otter of I Am Otter fame decides she and Teddy need jobs, just like Otter Keeper. But how can Teddy get a job if he isn’t good at anything?
Though I love picture books, I tend not to read beginner books, even for characters I enjoy, because they rely on simplistic sentences and repetition, and generally read awkwardly to me. Picture books, believe it or not, tend to be much more sophisticated. However, I love Otter so much that I ordered her two new beginner readers as soon as they were released. I don’t regret the purchase because I want to support Otter. However, I don’t see myself rereading The Best Job Ever! as I do Otter’s picture books, I Am Otter, Otter in Space, and Otter Loves Halloween!
Much of Otter’s charm stems from her propensity for mischief–and then for blaming the results on Teddy. You can read her endearingly funny adventures on her blog (The Attic Mission storyline is my favorite.). However, publication has tamed Otter a bit. Otter now needs to teach children lessons. Lessons about acceptance and the mastery of fear and other good-for-children stuff.
I’m sure Harper Collins knows what sells and presumably educators and parents are eager to instill morals in their young readers. But a book about finding a job is simply not very original as an early reader concept. If I didn’t already love Otter, I would never pick up this book because I feel like I’ve seen it a hundred times before. As it is, Otter’s charm still makes it a fun read and readers may well even chuckle. But Otter can deserves better. Otter is original–and her books should allow Sam Garton to showcase that.