by Sam Garton (more Otter stories on the website, too)
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Oh my. I just love this little otter. He (she?) is absolutely adorable. I’m a sucker for this type of illustration with bright, full colors and rounded edges. And the paws! Oh, the paws.
I read Otter in Space first, because I was ignorant about Otter and just didn’t know it wasn’t the first story, so if hard-pressed I would give Otter in Space maybe a half-star more just from sheer delight of discovery. This little critter reminds me strongly of Curious George, but with a first-person point of view which is so precious because we hear his side of the story, what he really believes is happening, but the pictures tell a slightly more complete version of the story. Kids will feel superior to Otter in knowing what’s really going on. In I Am Otter, Otter and pal Teddy open a toast restaurant with predictable results (and an ending that made me laugh out loud). In Otter in Space, Otter decides to go straight to the source to get a moon rock. These are such simple yet imaginative stories and I can’t stress enough how cute they are – not just Otter and Teddy but all of the other friends they live with (not to mention Otter Keeper – aka the man in the yellow hat).
My one criticism is that some of the jokes are revealed through childish handwritten signs, complete with misspellings, that look a little forced and inauthentic, and also as an outloud reader would be clumsy for me to incorporate into the story-reading experience. Also, Otter seems like a very, very young child who would not know how to write yet so that felt mismatched. But maybe that just means more for a little one to grow into, so I stick with my original 5-star assessment. Overall: I’m dying of the cute overload.