Otters in general have been treated more informatively by Patent (1973) and sea otters more personably by Johnson (1973) and the Annixters (1972). But for now the river otter will have to make do with Harris, who handles them without much spark but with a little more thought and incident than is usual for this series. Harris begins, quite concretely, with a birth; she shows the mother teaching her offspring to swim and to fish (and, with inappropriate delicacy, to use the ""toilet"") and, for excitement, rescuing them from a flash flood. Later, man intrudes with guns and dogs and a trap that ultimately kills the mother's mate. As winter approaches and the growing otters travel farther from home to find food, Harris at least pauses to muse: ""Did the otters instinctively know that it was not good to eat up all the food in one small area? Were they also seeking the company of other otters?"" In the end, ""not even the winter stopped their games""-- and if this doesn't sparkle with their water play, it does give their experience some shape.