Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Talk Tuesday: Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long

Otis and the Tornado
written and illustrated by Loren Long
Philomel Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25477-2
Grades K-3
Reviewed from personal copy.

Otis the tractor and his farm animal friends love to play follow the leader.  All the animals participate except for the big bull who snorts and growls at anyone (or anything) that gets too close to his pen or pasture.  Otis tries to befriend the beast, but with no luck.  The day a tornado arrives at the farm changes everything.  While the farmer and his family run for the cellar, Otis frantically releases the animals and they flee to the lowest lying land on the farm. When Otis realizes that the bull is not there he is determined to help the animals despite past unkindnesses.

I'll say right off the bat that I am a big fan of Otis.  I fell in love with him the minute I read the first book.  So much so that I ordered the stuffed toy.  I like this book even better than first.  The large, bright illustrations make this book perfect as a read-a-loud.  The picture of the bull does a great job of emphasizing his bigness and grumpiness.  The writing is clear and crisp and great for reading out-loud.  I found it easy to change my tone of voice with the changing emotion of the story.  The second graders I read this to enjoyed it also.  In fact, one class that usually cannot be quiet for any length of time, became silent when I started reading this book.  That to me is the best sign of a great book, when the students become so intently focused on the book. This book has the look and feel of a classic. I will note that some younger children may find the tornado frightening. Highly recommended.

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge
Watering Level Goal : 11 of 36 completed

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