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LITTLE BY LITTLE by Amber Stewart

LITTLE BY LITTLE

By Amber Stewart (Author) , Layn Marlow (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-545-06163-6
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

There are lots of things Otto can do: “Forward roly-poly / Backward roly-poly / Being kind to frogs....” There’s just one thing he can’t do, and that’s swim, which is a problem when you’re an otter. Little by little, coaxed and encouraged by his mom and wise older sister, he makes the attempt, he practices daily, and—wouldn’t you know it?—the day finally comes when Otto succeeds swimmingly. Marlow’s soft watercolors depict an appealingly snub-nosed little otter whose anxious look turns into triumph over the course of the brief tale. Together with the quiet, reassuring, albeit bland story, the whole makes for a pleasant enough read, although it lacks the graphical and narrative oomph of such tales as Simon James’s Little One-Step (2003) or Robert Kraus’s classic Leo the Late Bloomer (1971). Nevertheless, children will likely root for Otto and may be emboldened to try out something on their own “CAN’T DO” lists. (Picture book. 3-5)