November 2013, QED, 24 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Themes: family life, fear of the unknown, distraction
Summary from Amazon (I don't gain by mentioning them, QED's website kept making my laptop crash)
Every evening Otto's family come together to hold hands when they sleep. But in the morning Otto doesn't want to let go! Poor Otto's parents can't get anything done with him holding on to them, but he's just too worried and afraid to be left on his own. Until one day Mum opens a special shell with a pearl inside that sparks Otto's attention!
My heart melted in a warm fuzzy puddle with page after page of simply adorable otters. Their heads looked dry and fluffy, their bodies were sleek and had strong muscles. It's not seen on the front cover but I liked the splashing effect with the smudged white mini dots merged together. Seeing so many cute creatures together makes it a joy to read.
The story itself is sweet and one readers can relate to. I was surprised by the tactic used to get Otto to let go, but it makes sense. I had separation issues when I was little so I completely understood Otto's fear. I didn't have something round and shiney, I had pretty embroidered 'magic hankies'. Still got one! I'm certain Otto will treasure his item for a long while, just as he does holding hands. His self-confidence takes a giant leap and he is much happier because of the risk he took of letting go for something stunning. .
Another cute read is Guess How Much I Love You: Here, There and Everywhere by Sam McBratney (Children's, Picture book, 10/10E)