Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 PreS-Gr 1—Fans of Otter will be pleased to see the pint-size creature going on a new escapade. While her guardian, Otter Keeper, is at work, Otter dresses up as a teacher and decides to school her stuffed toys. Giraffe excels at math, and Pig shows off his talents during music class, but what about Teddy, Otter's stalwart companion? When Otter realizes that Teddy feels like he isn't good at anything, her spirits sag—until Otter Keeper encourages her to have more faith in herself as an educator. Garton employs mild pastel colors and plenty of white space, giving his digitally rendered illustrations a soft, gentle quality. Otter herself is utterly charming, and images of her sporting her teaching outfit, complete with glasses and a pearl necklace, will have kids and adults cooing with delight. However, the tone never veers toward the cloying, and there's genuine wit that comes from the contrast between Otter's self-assured narration and the reality of the situation. Adults will appreciate Garton's wry sensibility as he spoofs well-known moments of the school routine (taking on the role of the weepy parent before class begins, Otter muses, "I made sure everyone was settled in, and then I said good-bye. This part was a bit sad."). Beneath the humor, though, there's a true understanding of children's fears, and Garton offers simple but sincere reassurance. VERDICT A wonderful storytime offering to soothe back-to-school blues; Otter devotees and newcomers will savor this one.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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