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Otto the Book Bear Hardcover – January 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423145623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423145622
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Otto the bear lives in a book, and he is happiest when performing his literary role for the young readers of the house. But when his story is placed back on the shelf, the adventuresome bear, in a whimsical stroke of metafiction, likes to climb out of its pages and go exploring. The trouble starts when the family moves away and inadvertently leaves Otto’s book behind. In a refreshing twist on this familiar trope, resilient Otto packs his book bag and heads out to find himself a new home. After a tough time in the bustling, indifferent city, the ursine little fellow stumbles upon a place “full of light and hope. You guessed it—the library. Spacious white backgrounds put the book’s winsome art deservedly front and center and highlight its distinctive black outlines and soft washes of color and shading. The unadorned text fits nicely with Cleminson’s varied compositions. A charming, gentle celebration of books and libraries. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Kristen McKulski

Review

This is the metastory of Otto, a bear who lives in a book that sits on a shelf in a home library. "[H]e was at his happiest when children read his book," writes Cleminson (Magic Box), but he also delights in those times when he magically (and secretly) escapes the confines of the book to explore the house and even work on some writing of his own. Otto doesn't become the size of a real bear, however: he remains book-sized. And that's a serious drawback when circumstances force him out into the big, bustling world. But a happy ending awaits the indomitable Otto, one that should gladden the hearts of anyone who's a fan of the public library-or as Cleminson so beautifully describes it, "a place that looked full of light and hope." Cleminson is one of the latest in a long line of British storytellers who excel at being brisk and businesslike on the outside and deeply empathic on the inside. Her drawings, which combine a bold ink line with subtle yet radiant color, are as pointed and poignant as her prose.—PW

Otto the Book Bear comfortably in his book, but when no one is looking, he comes to life and wanders off the book's pages. One fateful day, he is left behind by his human family and thus must go out into the world to find a new place. It's a treacherous journey, but Otto finally ends up at the city library, where he discovers a whole group of "book creatures" who, like Otto, come to life and love to have adventures. At its heart, this British import offers the fanciful premise of miniature storybook characters coming alive and exploring together. There are, however, too many unanswered questions about his situation: Why was his book left behind? Why doesn't he return to the book's pages upon his abandonment? Why doesn't he discover the existence of other book characters from other books at his initial residence? The art is airily appealing, featuring muted watercolors framed by thick, casual black outlines that lend a softness to Otto's quest. Otto is depicted as about the size of a mouse, and the illustrations are particularly good at portraying the daunting scale of the big world around him. Listeners with a soft spot for the lost might prefer a more developed tale such as Vulliamy's Small (BCCB 4/02), but this could provide a nice pro-library readaloud for storytime. HM—BCCB

PreS-Gr 2 Otto resides in a picture book, and he is happiest when it is being read. But when no one is looking, the bear comes alive and enjoys exploring the house. Then his family moves away and the book is left behind, so he ventures outside to search the city for a new home. Tiny among the giant people on the street and missing his warm book, he feels downhearted until he sees a grand building full of light and hope a library. There, he is befriended by other book creatures and, best of all, finds new readers. The thickly inked illustrations surrounded by lots of white space have an uncluttered, simple look that is appropriate for young readers. Although no specific time is indicated, the appearance of a gramophone, dial phone, and manual typewriters places the story in a bygone era. Otto does not change size when he steps out of his book, but his small stature is not an issue when he is comfortably at home. However, the outside world seems daunting and lonely, giving the story an emotional impact. A sweet tale. Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT—SLJ

Otto the bear lives in a book, and he is happiest when performing his literary role for the young readers of the house. But when his story is placed back on the shelf, the adventuresome bear, in a whimsical stroke of metafiction, likes to climb out of its pages and go exploring. The trouble starts when the family moves away and inadvertently leaves Otto's book behind. In a refreshing twist on this familiar trope, resilient Otto packs his book bag and heads out to find himself a new home. After a tough time in the bustling, indifferent city, the ursine little fellow stumbles upon a place "full of light and hope. You guessed it-the library. Spacious white backgrounds put the book's winsome art deservedly front and center and highlight its distinctive black outlines and soft washes of color and shading. The unadorned text fits nicely with Cleminson's varied compositions. A charming, gentle celebration of books and libraries. - Kristen McKulski—Booklist

Otto usually lives as an illustration of a book, but when no one is looking, he comes to life. All is usually well when Otto explores the house-he can read other books, poke about the house and even type out a story on the typewriter. But when the bookshelf is cleared and the books placed in boxes ominously marked "ship to," little Otto is separated from his book and must go out into the world alone. Drawing with ink-filled pipettes and watercolor against extensive white space, Cleminson's emotional illustrations show just how lonely and tiny Otto is out in the world. On the inside, he is a comfortable, confident size, but out in the world, he is nearly lost in urban hubbub. Young readers will enjoy locating the tiny Otto and will identify with his fear and worry, especially when he is forced to take refuge in the darkness of a coffee cup, alongside an apple core. It's only when he finds himself with books again, in the library, that Otto feels truly at home, with other "book creatures just like him." Book creatures of all ages will love Otto and will enjoy wondering if any other of their books' characters have a secret life. A delight. (Picture book. 4-8)—Kirkus

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations are brilliant.
Beverly L. Archer
This book is charming - perfect for a read aloud story time.
C. Johnson
Can't wait for her birthday to give her this book.
gammyd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of this author/illustrator for quite some time. Her book The Magic Box has been a story time staple for me since its release. My expectations for Otto The Book Bear were sky high, and luckily, this charming book did not disappoint. It tells the story of Otto, a bear who lives in a book "on a shelf in a house..." who has a very unique talent. Otto likes to step out of his book and explore! All is well and good until one day Otto is left behind. He doesn't like being alone, so he sets off on an adventure that eventually leads him to a new home where he finds some rather unexpected friends.

I've seen plenty of picture books which detail what happens when book characters come to life, teddy bears become animated, or a child's doodles jump off the page ready to play. The characteristic most of these books share is that when the characters hop out of a child's imagination, they are larger than life. A beloved character becomes a giant playmate, ready to protect or entertain. In this case, Otto steps off the page on his own, tiny in a world of giants. Children don't really play a role in this story, other than at the beginning and end when they are seen enjoying Otto's storybook. The reader truly feels that they are witnessing something special that no one else can see. This perspective leads to some great storytelling as we follow tiny Otto to his ultimate destination - the library!

The perfect length for preschool story time, kids will also delight in the charming illustrations that depict Otto doing things like practicing his writing on a giant typewriter, reading his favorite stories, and trying out the librarian's date due stamps!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnson on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is charming - perfect for a read aloud story time. The illustrations are whimsical and the bear's adventures provide just enough interest before the happy ever after ending (which will warm any librarian's heart!). Children will warm to the bear's efforts to find a welcoming home.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Beverly L. Archer VINE VOICE on February 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What I liked about this book: I LOVE this book. In fact, this might be my new favorite picture book. It's about a bear and a book - two of my favorite things. The illustrations are brilliant. They look like a combination of either pen and ink or water color. I wouldn't mind having them framed for my library walls. Young children will love the idea of a book character coming to life at night. The happy ending makes it an all around good read. This is an excellent read aloud. I will be ordering this for my school's library.

What I didn't like about the book: I absolutely LOVED it all.

Recommended for pre-school and older.

AR Book Level: 2.6
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liz on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will start by saying I have 4 children ages 7 yrs and under. We have read ALOT of children's books. I have to say it does take some time to find what I would consider a "good" children's book. In our home the focus is not on commercial toys and or characters. At times this in itself can be a challenge when trying to buy a quality toy or book that isn't based on the latest show or movie that say Pixar put out that summer. It's just not our families preference.

We checked this book out at the library and have had it for over 5 weeks. We read it about 4 times a week. It is easy enough that my son who just turned 7 yrs is able to read it to us no problem. The length is perfect for a bedtime story. The illustrations perfect. Beautiful to look at. Simple, yet stimulating for a young ones imagination.

I have never liked a book so much in the way I like this one. I am serious when I say it brings me to tears. It is not a sad book really, just so amazingly sweet and innocent.
This is a great price for this book. i would have gladly paid double.

You can read the description about the book. No need for me to rehash it for you.

I am now purchasing this book as part of a birthday gift for two sisters.I hope they love it as much as we do!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This adorable offering follows the adventures of a book character who steps out of the pages of his book. It's very pro-library. I like to pair this with another bear'ish book story - More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt which is just about as silly as this book is sweet. Astute readers will notice that Otto's storybook pictures change slightly as he travels and meets new people. Another thing I loved: Otto (and all the other book characters) are tiny! When I read this aloud, kids loved pointing out how Otto was dwarfed by pedestrians on the street. When he finally makes it to the library, and meets up with all the other book characters there, there's such a sense of quiet joy. I loved this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the story about a bear who lives in a book. His family moves away and accidentally leaves Otto behind. He's very sad, so he goes out into the city to find a place to live. It is cold and smokey so he does not want to live there. Do you think he will find the perfect place to live?

What I like about this book is it's full of others books in it, and I love books. I think it is a little bit funny because Otto comes out of a book. What I don't like about it is that it tells people that the city is a bad place to live. I think we should fix the city.

This book would be good for two to six year olds.
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