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Reviewed by Ronél Steyn for Readers' Favorite
Otto the Otter: A Big Surprise by Linda Hansen is a beautiful watercolor-illustrated story of a North American River Otter who visits the pond of a family who lives in a grey house. As Otto frequently returns to the pond, the people in the house grow to love him and enjoy his antics. In a way, Otto becomes part of the family. When Otto stays away for longer periods than normal, the people in the house worry and are absolutely overjoyed when Otto returns. One day, after a very long absence from the pond, Otto returns with the biggest surprise ever!
What a delight! From the way the story engaged us from the very start to the spectacular illustrations included, this book was fun and informative. With my 'assistant' (my son) next to me, I was able to enjoy this book on a more personal level than I thought possible. The layout is not complicated and allows young readers to follow the pages without any hindrance. We loved the information regarding river otters and how they take care of their young as it was presented in such an understandable way. My son loved the photo as well as the drawing that was included done by a young artist the same age as him. There is also something to be said when the author and the illustrator, Linda Hansen, are the same. In this way, the author is able to properly convey what was originally intended. Otto the Otter: A Big Surprise by Linda Hansen is a great book that can be enjoyed by both young and old.