Otto has learned the dreaded “no” word, for life for his family and friends, as well as for himself, just got more complicated.
“Otto was adorable. Everybody said so.” So begins this lively tale starring the winsome anthropomorphic baby rhino. The story is simple and familiar enough. Otto has learned to say “no” and does so at every opportunity. Until, that is, he realizes that “no” has its limits and that “yes” can sometimes be a more satisfying word. Capably combining full-page illustrations, double-page spreads and spot illustrations, this picture book takes full advantage of the format. As the story dances along, readers will be turning the pages with glee to see what Otto refuses next. Illustrator Warnes’ animal cast delights the eye and lifts the heart. His skill in depicting expressions is extraordinary. The book itself is designed impeccably, with endpapers, title page and frontmatter doing double duty as storytelling devices. The book’s only weakness is a slight bit of overwriting in the middle of the story that interrupts the language pattern. The illustrations, however, more than make up for the less-than-crisp text.
An entertaining romp of a book that amusingly addresses this often difficult aspect of toddlerhood. (Picture book. 2-6)