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Otto Grows Down Hardcover – February 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402747039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402747038
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 7.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,582,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Otto is not happy about the arrival of his baby sister. At his sixth birthday party, he blows out the candles and wishes that Anna had never been born. Sure enough, time starts moving backward, and before long, his parents are heading to the hospital (happily, the scene of Anna being returned from whence she came isn’t depicted). Soon, however, Otto is regretting his wish, as he unpaints his drawing paper, brings the garbage inside on trash day, and finds “going to the bathroom . . . downright disgusting.” (This is demurely depicted with Otto on the toilet seat. Horrified.) Worst of all, however, is watching his birthdays roll back until he is just a baby. At the last possible moment, Otto figures out how to restart the clock. There’s lots of fun to be had with this Benjamin Button–like concept, and both words and pictures do a good job of mining it. The pen-and-paint artwork, with its bigheaded characters and use of strong shapes and colors, is eye-catching, while the be-careful-what-you-wish-for message comes through loud and clear. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper

Review

"The deadpan drollery of Magoon’s cartoon-style illustrations should appeal to adults as well as children, matching the quirkiness of Sussman’s premise.  Otto’s demonstrative lack of enthusiasm as he shakes his rattle for Anna is flat-out hilarious, and his growing consternation as he begins to live his life backward comes across loud and clear.  Genuine issue gracefully handled." --Kirkus Reviews

 

“Clinical psychologist Sussman's first book for children is spot-on in its success capturing the voice and emotions of the new older sibling.  . . . This book will entertain children whether or not they share Otto's experience, and would be a great choice for a bibliotherapeutic purpose as well.” --New England Reading Association Journal
 
"Along the way, the book hits just the right notes of childish frustration at a new sibling - sassy, not snotty. (Sussman is a clinical psychologist, which likely explains his eerily accurate mapping of Otto's id-urges.) And though the story ends up with Otto's newfound appreciation for Anna, it's a sweet ending rather than a saccharine one.” --Austin American-Statesman

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The illustrations were wonderful as well.
Karen Sivin
"Otto Grows Down" is a unique take on sibling rivalry and the concept of time moving backwards also makes for an interesting discussion point.
Z Hayes
So much so, that we've read the book nearly every single day.
Brimful Curiosities

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adroit Librarian on March 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved the story. It will be the perfect book to hand to a family who have a child and are expecting another.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Michael Sussman's first children's book is a humorous take on sibling rivalry and suitable for preschoolers and up. In the story, six-year-old Otto is celebrating his birthday when he gets upset at all the attention being given to his infant sister Anna. He wishes that she was never born and soon enough finds his wish coming true in the strangest manner - time moves backwards, and very soon, Anna is sent back to the hospital and Otto finds himself getting younger and younger. As he grows 'down', Otto begins to grow 'up' and learns the lesson of appreciating having a sibling. The story of Otto growing 'down' is told in a whimsical manner, and the full-color illustrations by Scott Magoon enhance the story, giving it a humorous angle that was appreciated by both me and my four-year-old preschooler. "Otto Grows Down" is a unique take on sibling rivalry and the concept of time moving backwards also makes for an interesting discussion point.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sivin on February 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I both enjoyed reading this book together. We both thought it dealt with sibling rivalry in a funny and clever way. The illustrations were wonderful as well. We highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corrie Snell on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've NEVER been tempted to review a children's book, until "Otto Grows Down." This book is creative and funny. Both kids and grownups will laugh out loud.
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By Tracy Will on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of our favorite books! My son especially notices and likes the blonde girl who attends Otto's birthday parties. Joy!
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Format: Hardcover
Otto was completely fed up that his baby sister always got all the attention. Even at the party for Otto's sixth birthday, Anna seemed to soak up the spotlight with her needs and crying. No wonder then, that Otto made a birthday wish that Anna had never been born. Little did he realize that his wish would actually come true, in a completely unexpected way. Otto would become younger with every passing day. Was it really worth losing all he knew just to avoid having a baby sister? Amusing illustrations and a clever tale make this picture book a useful resource for teaching young learners about tradeoffs and opportunity costs involved with the choices that people make.
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