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BABY SEA OTTER by Betty Tatham


by Betty Tatham & illustrated by Joan Paley

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7504-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

A fact book about otters, this is made more readable by its focus on one mother and her baby. When a baby otter is born, its mother uses her front claws to groom her, then blows air into her fur to help keep her warm. A bed of kelp anchors the new pup while mom dives for food. A furry pouch under each arm helps her hold onto the food. The two are in the company of a larger group of female otters, a raft. Tatham presents the better-known facts about otters—they use their bellies as a table and pound shellfish with rocks—along with ones that are not as commonly known—eagles, the outgoing tide and kidnapping by male otters are among the threats to babies. As the new pup grows older, her mother teaches her to find food, and at age three, she has a pup of her own. Paley’s hand-painted and textured papers make the collage artwork especially breathtaking. Furry otters and feathery eagle stand out against a watery backdrop of blues, greens and purples. Beautiful art and solid facts for animal lovers. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)