cover image A Lot of Otters

A Lot of Otters

Barbara Helen Berger. Philomel Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22910-7

In rhythmic text paired with translucent art, the story of a pajama-clad boy unfolds, as he pushes off to sea in a cardboard boat and reads a book about Mother Moon, who is looking for her lost ""moonlet."" But his book falls into the grasp of otters. Here Berger (Grandfather Twilight) deftly divides her tale into two intertwining perspectives: the boy and the otters are reading about their own simultaneous adventure of helping Mother Moon to find her lost child, who is the boy himself. Simple enough for beginning readers, Berger's text is dreamily evocative: when Mother Moon's tears fall as stars, the otters ""wrestled and rolled and rubbed the starlight into their fur""--making a ""commotion of light"" to draw Mother Moon's attention. Berger's watercolors take on the colors of heaven and sea waltzing in tranquil veils of green and blue. She moves from the intimacy of the orphan in his boat reading, to the expansive heavens from which Mother Moon recognizes her lost moonlet with equal agility. A gentle, lulling reverie to ferry youngsters from bedtime to dreamtime. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)