The Utterly Otterlys

By Mairi Hedderwick (Hodder Children’s Books)

The illustrations grabbed my attention first.  Then the title.  I love anything to do with Otters.  (Like rabbits they are the most endearing animals. Must be the whiskers.)  The Otterlys are very happy in their cosy little home in a burrow where mum is cooking fish and the kids play with their sea toys. One day Papa Otterly wakes up after a bad night’s sleep, convinced they need to move home.  He moves them from one spot to the other – none of which quite work out and eventually finds the perfect home – with a lovely little twist.

A well told story with some new words to add to the vocabulary (like beseeched and belligerently) made extra special by the gorgeous illustrations. Mairi Hedderwick is the celebrated author of the lovely Katie Morag series, which is also a favourite in our house.  My 7 year old loved all the illustrated details of their home, noticing that the little otter played with a live crab on a leash.  “Is that kind, mom?” he asked. I had to explain that the crab seemed happy enough and at least he wasn’t being eaten…

Categories: 4-6, 7-9, and Design and Illustration.

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