Otto P. Nudd

Crown. Oct. 2020. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524717759.
Gr 3-7–The eponymous raven in this animal-human friendship adventure is a bit full of himself. Having been rescued as an unfledged corvid by a kindly old inventor named Bartleby, Otto P. Nudd has devoted himself to the man and inventing. He is adjusting to life with his mate Lucille, and his egg, enormous as it is. He is also devoted to Pippa, Bartleby’s next-door neighbor and fellow corvid appreciator. Pippa lives with her perfectionist party-planning mother, who worries that her daughter is not befriending children her own age. Pippa still grieves the death of her father. Otto looks down on others in the neighborhood, especially Marla the squirrel. He and Marla are at war over her aggressive collection of peanuts that Bartleby leaves out. Otto must eat crow, so to speak, when Bartleby knocks himself unconscious while testing a new invention and Otto needs help rescuing him. This fast-paced story is laced with humor and big words, rendering it a fun read-aloud where those words can be discussed. Gray-toned illustrations mark each chapter, which have descriptive and humorous headings.
VERDICT This animal adventure is perfect for fans of Babe: The Gallant Pig author Dick King-Smith, and is sure to prompt young readers to appreciate the intelligence of ravens and crows.

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