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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Otter in Space, written and illustrated by Sam Garton. Balzer & Bray, Harper. 2015. $21.00 ages 4 and up

"Teddy and I got to see
a real moon rock. Otter
Keeper said it came all
the way from the moon.
And the moon is very far
away. The video told us
Our last stop in the museum
was a very important one:
the gift shop!"

There's a space exhibition at the museum! Otter Keeper takes Otter and Teddy to see it. With so much on exhibit, it's hard for Otter to know where to look first. After much perusal, Otter is very happy to finally set eyes on the many unique activities set up to teach her about outer space. Videos, games, even a real moon rock. Who could ask for more? The gift shop forces a tough decision concerning the 'one' souvenir she can take home.

The spaceship Otter chooses provides little incentive for a grand game of space travel. A moon rock is needed. But, how will she get one? After a lot of thought, a plan is hatched - a trip to the moon is sure to garner the rock they need. A list, then lunch, then an attempt to ensure that all list conditions are met, result in a lot of work for Otter and a lot of learning for Teddy. Training is problematic. Everyone is encouraged to help, and soon they are ready to launch!

A bumpy landing, a broken spacesuit, and a concentrated search for the elusive moon rock leads to great success - a huge, dirty rock which does not please Otter Keeper upon returning at the end of the day. A serious cleaning is the only way the rock will be allowed to stay inside. A new rule is then added to the DO NOT list affixed to the fridge:


  • Jump on sofa
  • Use the big phone
  • empty cereal packet for toy
Did Otter Keeper forget to mention dinosaurs? That might be on the  list for tomorrow's adventure.

Perfectly played once again, Sam Garton! If you were to read this book without showing its brilliant artwork, your listeners would have no idea that the trip to the moon is of the imagination.  They might even believe that Teddy is real (unless they have previous experience, after reading I Am Otter). Every single page is filled with brightly colored digital scenes that are humorous, playful and totally entertaining. It's sure to be a hit!

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