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I Am Otter by Sam Garton

I Am Otter

by Sam Garton

Series: Otter (1)

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Mischievous Otter gets up to all kinds of trouble when the Otter Keeper is away from home, playing restaurant with her best friend, Teddy. The resultant chaos and mess lead to trouble, and Otter attempts to pass the blame on to her stuffed companion. But then Teddy disappears, and Otter realizes just how much she cares for her friend...

The first of a number of picture-books featuring the cute-as-a-button Otter, I Am Otter is a charming look at an all-too-common childhood experience: making a terrible mess in the absence of an adult, and attempting to weasel (or otter) out of it afterward. The fact that it is an Otter (an adorable otter!) making trouble here adds to the sense of fun, as do the colorful illustrations. Recommended to all young otter lovers, as well as to anyone searching for entertaining children's stories about friendship, family, and taking (or not) responsibility for one's own messes. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 27, 2017 |
I had followed Sam Garton's blog for a couple years and was delighted when he announced his book deal. I decided then and there that if my siblings ever had any children, I would purchase I Am Otter for their first holiday, so that it would be available to them as they grow up.

The illustration work in the book is delightful, with a nostalgic but modern style. It is digitally created with a lot of saturated colors and colored-pencil-texture, and soft corners and curving lines. It's absolutely cozy and cute. It's also highly detailed with a distinct sense of humor, as displayed in a central two-page spread depicting the absolute mess that Otter has made in the kitchen. I don't know how Otter, Teddy, and Giraffe could have possibly done so much in a single day, but it's a lot of fun to look at the chaos. It's the kind of spread that I would have looked at over and over as a kid, and still do as an adult.

It's not just the illustrations that won me over to Otter - the story is a lot of fun, too. Otter is, well, a young otter, but she is exploring her world much the way young children do, probably around ages 4-6 or thereabouts. I really like that through her point of view, we see these major adventures, and a huge cast of characters, and Teddy and Giraffe are very real people (animals?), but to step back, it's clear that her adventures are maybe because she's little and doesn't have much perspective yet, and Teddy and Giraffe are imaginary friends (albeit actual stuffed toys) to lay the blame when something goes wrong. Kind of like actual kids. But it's also neat, to me, that there aren't Lessons To Be Learned. I think kids can certainly learn and grow from reading about Otter making mistakes and getting into fixes, but this isn't a book about that. It's about Otter being lonely when Otter Keeper goes to work, and deciding to go to work herself by opening a Toast Restaurant. (It's so cute that O.K. puts on a tie to go to work, so Otter does, too!)

I've read through the book half a dozen times in the last day or so, on top of having read the story in a slightly different format on the blog a few times (it's nice to reread!), and I keep noticing or focusing on different little details in the pictures, which certainly augment the story very well. (You could even say that Otter is an unreliable narrator, but most kids are!) I'm very much looking forward to reading it with my niblings when they're old enough to sit with me - this first copy of the book will go to my infant niece's first Christmas book pile this year. ( )
  keristars | Nov 30, 2015 |
An otter makes a huge mess while his keeper is away and tries to pin the blame on his teddy bear. Cheerful, fun mayhem. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
(33) ( )
  activelearning | Jan 18, 2015 |
If you have never met Otter or Otter Keeper (Sam Garton) through the blog I am Otter: The Unheard Ramblings of a Modern Day Domestic Otter, then you really must remedy that situation and go there. (But wait! Please read my review first, of course.)

I don’t remember how I was introduced to Otter, but I’m glad I found her and Otter Keeper because I always enjoy reading about what new antics have occurred. The best news yet is this book: I AM OTTER. I had to pre-order and be patient, but when it arrived it was certainly worth the wait.

I AM OTTER by Sam Garton is a gorgeous book! Sam is both the author and the illustrator, and he certainly has found his voice and artistic talent. Otter has attitude and determination which come across in amusing mishaps. The detail worked into each illustrated page is amazing and entertaining.

Otter Keeper is very patient and tolerant. Otter is such a loveable character who is always getting herself into trouble of one kind or another, and Teddy is always getting the blame. For example, on the jacket cover Otter says: I hope you like the story! (And if you don’t it’s probably Teddy’s fault.)

Small spoiler alert … enough to tempt you: Because Otter Keeper, no matter how much Otter tries to prevent it, goes to work every Monday, and Otter and Teddy don’t have jobs, they decided to open a toast restaurant. Unfortunately, they immediately ran into problems. Here’s an excerpt: Next, Teddy hadn’t told anyone how much our toast would cost. As a result, no one brought any spending money, which led to some embarrassing situations. Finally, Teddy got several of the toast orders wrong. Some of the customers complained and had to be asked to leave the restaurant. The customers are toys from Otter’s toy box, and the illustration is of a few toys having been escorted (tossed) out the window. Too cute!

There are such pleasing and amusing surprises to this story, I laughed out loud. When my grandson was here for a short visit the day my book arrived, he and I enjoyed reading I AM OTTER together. Every page has so much to see, and the situations created are truly funny. I love books like this.

If you are looking for a fun and entertaining picture book for a little someone special, I urge you to consider I AM OTTER by Sam Garton. When I asked my grandson to read my copy with me he didn’t want to then, so I suggested we take turns reading the pages. That was acceptable, but he got so into the story he forgot a couple of times it was my turn and kept reading. :) Now that’s a great recommendation. ;) ( )
1 vote Polilla-Lynn | May 9, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062247751, Hardcover)

The curious, charming, playful, and internet-famous Otter makes her picture book debut in I Am Otter by author-illustrator Sam Garton. Here's what Otter has to say about her book: "Hi! I am Otter, and this is a book about me and my best friends, Otter Keeper and Teddy. And it's about the fun and messy (and little bit scary) adventure we had one day when Otter Keeper was at work. I hope you like the story! (And if you don't, it's probably Teddy's fault.)"

Otter's utterly winning voice and Sam Garton's classic yet fresh artwork combine to create a truly hilarious and unforgettable friendship story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

Otter decides to open a toast restaurant with her best friend, Teddy, but after she blames Teddy for the mess they made, he goes missing.

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