For today’s second trendy Tuesday post, I will be reviewing I Am Otter, illustrated and written by Sam Garton.
I Am Otter follows the story of Otter, who lives with his two best friends Otter Keeper and Teddy. The story begins with Otter explaining that no one knows where he came from, but that Otter Keeper found Otter as a baby in a box on his doorstep one day. While it took a little while for Otter to warm up to his new surroundings, he soon befriended Otter Keeper and Teddy, a stuffed animal bear. Otter grows quite comfortable in his new home, and soon he, Otter Keeper, and Teddy are inseparable. However, Otter Keeper must start going to work. Otter does all he can to keep Otter Keeper from going to work, but it was a lost cause. Once understanding that there was nothing Otter could do about Otter Keeper going to work, Otter decided to open a toast restaurant with Teddy that catered to all of the other stuffed animals and toys in the house. However, things with the toast restaurant certainly did not go as planed because Teddy made mistakes such as not taking reservations and messing up the toast orders, and Otter got so mad that he ultimately fired Teddy and replaced him with Giraffe. Otter Keeper soon arrived home, and was not happy with Otter about the fact that his kitchen was an absolute mess. That night, Otter realized that he had not seen Teddy since he had fired him. Otter got very worried that because he was mean to Teddy, Teddy had run off with someone else to start a new toast restaurant. Otter woke up Otter Keeper, and the two of them spent the night searching for their friend. They finally found Teddy in the toy box. The story ends with Otter recognizing that he doesn’t mind Otter Keeper going to work as much since he is still able to spend the day with Teddy.
I Am Otter is a very humorous story that would be fitting to be read aloud to students who are pre-kindergarten through second grade. I recommend it for this age group because it is simple to understand and does not feature too many advanced words. However, Garton does a wonderful job of telling the story in a way that would be entertaining to children of all ages. Additionally, Garton has beautiful illustrations throughout the book. While there is a good amount of white space on his pages, I do not think that this takes away from the story. Instead, his illustrations are so detailed and carefully drawn that the white space helps to highlight his wonderful pictures.
As an additional fun fact, Garton’s stories about Otter actually began on a blog he started in 2009, titled “I Am Otter: The Unheard Ramblings of a Modern Day Domestic Otter.” You can visit Garton’s blog here.
Overall, I would definitely recommend I Am Otter by Sam Garton to someone on the market for a picture book for this age group.