Utterly Otterly Night
by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt
Underneath the snow on a cold winter’s night, a family of otters, including the antsy Little Otter, wake up in their warm, cozy den and head out to play. As the cute Little Otter happily swims and slides, he knows to watch for danger. After a couple close calls with an owl and moose, Little Otter senses real danger as he comes across a pack of scary wolves. Will he be able to alert his family in time so that they can get safely home?
This was a cute book. Illustrator Ard Hoyt’s pen and ink illustrations in muted winter colors were lovely and he did a nice job of showing Little Otter’s excitement as he played happily in the snow. The text contains occasional rhymes, but not in a consistent, rhythmic pattern, so I’m not sure if my students will all pick up on the rhyming parts.
For lessons, I could see having my students identify the different animals in the book and then doing a nonfiction pairing about them (particularly the otter).