A Lot of Otters

by Barbara Helen Berger (Author) Barbara Helen Berger (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Mother Moon is looking for her child. As she calls for him, her tears turn into stars that fall into the sea and are rescued, along with her little one, by a lot of otters. These playful animals cavort and rollick in the starlight until Mother Moon looks down and sees them--and her child, safe and sound. Barbara Helen Berger's poetic words and luminous illustrations are beautifully fused in this dreamlike tale that is just perfect for bedtime.

"Toddlers are sure to delight in the mischievous antics of all those whiskery otters." --School Library Journal, starred review

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Themes of independence, separation, and reunion are all given play in a book in which sweet otters act like children and look like expertly drafted, favorite stuffed animals, floating and dozing off at the end.

School Library Journal

PreS--In this gentle, lovely fantasy, a winsome toddler climbs into a cardboard box, book in hand, and sails off into a nighttime encounter with a band of otters. Spare lines of text follow the reading child out onto the water, where the book falls overboard, soon to be retrieved by the curious otters, some holding their own babies. The unseen Mother Moon weeps tears that fall as stars on the drifting crowd, and soon all are caught up in diving and grasping these glittering objects. Berger's softly drawn otters are comical and appealing as they cavort through the blue and green water swirling across the double-pages, playing with the stars and the picture book and reaching out to the baby in his box. Mother Moon finally notices the commotion and is reunited with her child in the star-filled sea. Moon Mother and her sleeping moonlet, surrounded by drifting, sleepy otters, are framed by a pale green moon for the quiet conclusion. The child in soft red pajamas, his red jacketed book telling also of moon and stars, and the tan cardboard box are both playful and familiar touches, grounding the scheme in the real world as it pushes easily into dreamland. The deft flow of words and pictures and the universal theme of the venturing child and anxious mother reunited are a satisfying combination, and toddlers are sure to delight in the mischievous antics of all those whiskery otters.--Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

Copyright 1997 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Barbara Helen Berger
Barbara Helen Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Barbara Helen Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Puffin Books
Publication date
August 20, 2000
Picture Puffin Books
BISAC categories
JUV010000 - Juvenile Fiction | Bedtime & Dreams
Library of Congress categories
Lost children
Parents Choice Award (Fall) (1998-2007)
Winner 2000 - 2000

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