Otter and Odder
Otter and Odder
A Love Story
By James Howe
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763641740, 40pp.
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
The day Otter found love, he wasn t looking for it. He was looking for dinner. But then he gazed into the round, sweet, glistening eyes of Myrtle the fish, and he knew. "Impossible," he said. "I am in love with my food source." As for Myrtle, her first desire was: "Please don t eat me. "But soon her heart awakened to a future she could never have imagined. The inseparable duo played hide-and-seek and told each other stories, but everyone said that was "not "the way of the otter. Could their love (and Myrtle) possibly survive? Aided by Chris Raschka's illustrations in a fresh faux-naif style, James Howe tells a warm, witty tale about finding kindred spirits in the oddest of places-and having the good sense to keep them.
Chris Raschka, winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal for "A Ball for Daisy, "is the acclaimed illustrator of many books for children, including "I Pledge Allegiance "by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson; Dylan Thomas s "A Child s Christmas in Wales; The Grasshopper s Song "by Nikki Giovanni; and "A Poke in the I, A Kick in the Head, "and "A Foot in the Mouth, "all edited by Paul B. Janeczko. Chris Raschka lives in New York City."
The love between a fish and an otter is given the thoughtful treatment such an unexpected attraction deserves... Howe explores the pleasure and pain of loving someone who is different from one’s self in a manner that is both sophisticated and accessible to children... Raschka’s childlike renderings of creatures in thick, penciled outlines create the innocence, mirror the hope and provide the universality that contributes to the title’s ascent above its purely message-driven counterparts. Ever-changing watercolor washes and primordial shapes depict a wondrous, liquid world in which the star-crossed lovers learn to trust their hearts.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Howe’s story reaches beyond its target audience and presents a lovely, unpreachy allegory for relationships that fall outside the mainstream.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Together, Howe and Raschka movingly explore the complexities of who and how we love, where love found and where it takes us.
—New York Times online