Otters Love to Play by Jonathan London, illustrated by Meilo So [in Booklist]
Last year’s beaver den is this year’s cozy lair for a mother otter and three newborn pups. When they are finally allowed out, they lose no time leaping and tumbling, pouncing and wrestling, because, well, otters love to play.
With their waterproof fur coats, the pups “gracefully spin and flip and swish like underwater acrobats.” They learn to hunt, guided by their supersensitive whiskers. Since otters don’t hibernate, they romp all through winter. As for any would-be predators, never mess with a fierce otter mother if you can help it.
Jonathan London, the author of 100-plus picture books and best known for his ever-growing Froggy series, combines family adventure and facts to create a frolicsome, informative tale. A reminder about the two distinct fonts (one for the otter story, another for the explanatory tidbits), an index, and an “About Otters” endnote further enhance the learning opportunity. So’s whimsical art – aptly conceived in flowing watercolors – adds mischievous charm to all that beckoning play.
Review: “Books for Youth,” Booklist, February 1, 2016