Otis and the Kittens (Hardcover)
Philomel Books, 9780399163982, 40pp.
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
The #1 bestselling illustrator of Matt de la Pena's Love and the creator of Otis presents an homage to firefighters everywhere--and to the many boys and girls who dream big of being heroes On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn't rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley--an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat's worries--her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That's when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends. Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama. Praise for Otis and the Kittens * "As always, perseverance, teamwork, and a heart of gold pay off for Otis and his friends. When read aloud, the text flows off the tongue with sounds and words that extend the imagery created in the attractive gouache and pencil illustrations. The compositions make great use of perspective and motion and are expertly laid out . . . There are wonderful textured details that bring the story to life. T]he perfect lapsit read-aloud, combining the ever-popular subjects of tractors, farm animals, and firefighters."--School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW "Long's seventh bucolic tale of an antique tractor with a smiling face and a good heart will please the little chuffer's many fans. The dynamic, fluid illustrations with a retro-rural vibe bring to mind Norman Rockwell's America with a Saturday comics spin. The theme of teamwork played out several times through the tale is communicated as simply as the tale itself. Keep on puffin', Otis "--Kirkus Reviews "Long creates a powerful sense of suspense and danger as charcoal smoke gathers in the sky and bright flames lick the beams of the barn as Otis goes to work, but bravery, loyalty, and gritty determination are the real stars of the story--traits that Otis and his animal friends have in ample supply."--Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Loren Long has putt puff puttedy chuffed his way all over the bestseller lists. He is the author of Otis, Otis and the Tornado, Otis and the Puppy, An Otis Christmas, Otis and the Scarecrow, Little Tree, Drummer Boy, Toy Boat by Randall de Seve, and Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna. He was also honored to have the opportunity to modernize the classic The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and to illustrate Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama. A graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Loren lives in Ohio with his wife, Tracy, and their two sons.You can visit Loren Long at www.OtisTheTractor.com and www.LorenLong.com. Follow @lorenlong