Sunday, October 11, 2009

OTIS by Loren Long

I am a huge Loren Long fan. I have always loved his books and when he visited our school with Jon Scieszka when SMASH! CRASH! was released, I got to chat with him a bit and see how great he was with the kids. So, I have been looking forward to the release of OTIS for a while. I finally got my hands on a copy at Cover to Cover this past week and am so excited about this new title. I saw that OTIS is on the New Your Times Best Seller list already and I can see why!

This is a great story that will appeal to many readers. It is the story of Otis, a special tractor, and his friendship with a little calf. There is lots to love about this story. Long's illustrations are really perfect. He captures a spirit on the farm that makes you want to run and jump along with Otis and the calf throughout the book. The colors add a dimension of calm nostalgia to the book. Otis is brought to life in a way that makes him quite lovable early on. And it is a great story. Loren Long has just recently started both writing and illustrating his books. A good call on his part, I think. A story of friendship that has the feel of some old favorites. Kids will love Otis right off. They will love the way that Loren Long has brought him to life. And they will cheer for him when problems arise.

This book has the makings of a classic, I think. And, looking at the illustrations, I expect to see it on several Mock Caldecott lists this year. It will definitely make my list of favorite picture books of 2009.

For more on OTIS from Loren Long go here.

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