London, Jonathan. Otters Love to Play. illus. by Meilo So. 32p. index. Candlewick. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763669133.
K-Gr 2 –The story of an action-filled year in the life of a North American river otter family begins with the selection of an abandoned beaver den by the mother and the spring birth of her babies. Solely responsible for the young, she nurses them until they are ready to leave the den and go outside, where she teaches them how to swim. The antics of the pups—they wrestle and roll, play tag and race, and flip and swish like underwater acrobats—are amplified by vibrant and expressive watercolors. Their playful activities mimic future adult behavior as they learn how to catch fish and other prey and deal with the threat of a hungry fox. Facts about otters runs underneath the fictional narrative of the mother otter and her offspring. Seasonal variations in the riverside habitat are captured in the lovely spreads, such as the tracks as the otters slide down snowy hills. VERDICT Fun and informative, this beautifully illustrated, strong narrative belongs in every collection.
This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2016 issue.