Otters love to play, and so do children.
Perhaps that is why so many children love otters, “one of the most playful creatures of all wildlife,” which London highlights in this engaging text featuring irresistible illustrations by So. Using the formula he established in Hippos Are Huge, illustrated by Matthew Trueman (2015), London delivers the main facts in broad strokes. These appear in bouncy large print while additional information appears in smaller type. Readers follow pups throughout their first year. Seen in spring nestled in their nest, toothless and “about the size of a small candy bar,” the otters soon emerge to play—and learn. They wrestle, roll, swim (“Ka-Splash!”), and catch fish. By fall they are almost fully grown. Beautifully designed, fluid, colorful watercolor paintings evoke the otters’ habitat through the seasons in the river and on the shore. The otters are often rendered in drybrush so their expressions, poses, and activities are finely detailed, inviting close inspection. Neither the threat of winter nor a fox slows down the otters, and they celebrate the arrival of spring on a mud slide. This fine introduction to the species includes an index and a note providing more information, but there is no bibliography, so motivated young naturalists will want to look elsewhere for additional resources.
Both playful and beguiling, just like its subjects. (Informational picture book. 4-8)