Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Otis by Loren Long

Book Jacket

Otis is a special tractor.  He loves his farm and farmer.  He particularly loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor.  The two become great friends, romping in the fields, leaping bales of hay and playing ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond.

But when the big yellow tractor comes to the farm and replaces Otis, he is cast away to rust beind the barn--until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond.  Then there is only one tractor (and it's not big or yellow) who saves the day.  It's little Otis!

Artist Loren Long has crafted an unforgettable story--and a truly unforgettable character.


I have never in my life thought of a tractor as cute, but Long has changed all that.  Otis is adorable.  If I had to give a big blue ribbon to either him or the little calf, I...wouldn't know which to choose.  The artwork is amazing.

However, I just really dislike stories about inanimate objects being real, when the object is to make me feel bad about replacing them.  Sometimes tractors get old.  Sometimes playing with toys isn't fun anymore (I'm looking at you, Toy Story), and I don't want to be emotionally manipulated into thinking they have feelings.  So.  I can't love Otis, because he emotionally manipulated me.

However, I like stories about odd friendships, and I appreciated that Otis saved the little calf by helping her save herself.

Three out of five haybales.

Release Date: September 2009
Reading Level: Grade PreK+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: MONARCH

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