Otto the Book Bear

Katie Cleminson. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4562-2
This is the metastory of Otto, a bear who lives in a book that sits on a shelf in a home library. “[H]e was at his happiest when children read his book,” writes Cleminson (Magic Box), but he also delights in those times when he magically (and secretly) escapes the confines of the book to explore the house and even work on some writing of his own. Otto doesn’t become the size of a real bear, however: he remains book-sized. And that’s a serious drawback when circumstances force him out into the big, bustling world. But a happy ending awaits the indomitable Otto, one that should gladden the hearts of anyone who’s a fan of the public library—or as Cleminson so beautifully describes it, “a place that looked full of light and hope.” Cleminson is one of the latest in a long line of British storytellers who excel at being brisk and businesslike on the outside and deeply empathic on the inside. Her drawings, which combine a bold ink line with subtle yet radiant color, are as pointed and poignant as her prose. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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