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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Otto Grows Down Hardcover – February 3, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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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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: 7.5 x 10 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,097,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER 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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Otto gets a new sister, and she's just in time to ruin Otto's sixth birthday. Otto is not happy about the new addition, which is made abundantly clear when he uses his one birthday wish to, "wish that Anna was never born!"

True to the secret power of birthday wishes made under the correct conditions, Otto gets his heart's desire. Unfortunately, when Otto rewraps and returns all of his presents, he starts to get an idea that something may have gone horribly wrong. From leaving the barber with longer hair than he started out with, to getting out of the bathtub dirty instead of clean, Otto's un-growth is producing more than a few undesirable consequences.

As Otto arrives at his fifth birthday he attempts to fix his fateful wish. No luck. Fourth birthday? No. Third? No. Otto is stuck and the situation isn't looking good as Otto's second birthday also comes and goes.

Now, its Otto's last chance; his first birthday, but what can he do, he can't even talk anymore!

Find out more by checking out this delightful, sometimes disgusting book on being careful of what you wish for and learning that maybe that new baby isn't so bad after all.

Why 4 stars instead of 5? The artwork is just not my style. A personal thing.
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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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Format: Hardcover
The birthday. The candles and cake. The WISH! Otto, on his sixth birthday, feels rather neglected. You see, one week earlier, he became a big brother. No longer the center of attention, Otto takes his birthday wish to heart and wishes his baby sister Anna was never born. In theory, you'd think a wish like that would set things like they were before. Not quite so, as Otto quickly learns. The wish makes time go backwards. Yes, Otto's parents take his sister back to the hospital. But backwards time doesn't stop there. Time continues to go in reverse. Otto, to his dismay, grows younger, smaller and more frantic as each former birthday passes and he desperately tries to set things right.

Some picture books are pure fluff. This book is not and that is a good thing. Otto Grows Down, the fascinating and funny children's book by Michael Sussman stretches the imagination. I can guarantee Sussman's book will make children think, particularly about jealousy and also the concept of time. Most kids with siblings will at some point develop feelings of resentment. Using humor, the book provides a good starting point for discussions with children about sibling rivalry. Otto feels awful about his wish and learns a valuable lesson, put best by the illustrator Magoon, "Otto grew up when he grew down."

Besides the sibling rivalry slant, the book is very clever in other ways as well. While talks about jealousy are helpful, my preschool daughter found the fantasy of time moving backwards most intriguing. Before reading the book to her, I must admit to wondering whether she would grasp the concept or get scared about time in reverse. After a little explanation she so totally got it and loved the pretend aspect. In fact, she wants to keep talking about time moving backwards.
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