Odder by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charles Santoso

Published by Feiwel and Friends

Summary:  Odder is a sea otter who loves to play in the ocean, frolicking with her friend Kairi off the coast of California.  She’s a lot more daring than Kairi, and one day her adventurousness leads them right into the path of a hungry shark.  Both are attacked, but Odder sustains the worst injuries, landing herself at an aquarium under the care of humans. It turns out she’s been there before, and the second part of the book goes back to her early days when she was separated from her mother, rehabilitated by the aquarium staff, and released back into the wild.  Her second time there ends differently, and both she and Kairi end up as permanent residents, becoming surrogate mothers to rescued pups.  Includes an author’s note about the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the real-life otters who were the inspiration for Odder and Kairi; also a bibliography and a list of additional resources.  288 pages; grades 3-7.  

Pros:  Katherine Applegate’s legion of fans will be pleased to see a new heartwarming animal book on the shelves.  The verse format makes for a quick read, with interesting additional information for budding marine biologists and cute illustrations.

Cons:  I wish there had been even more cute illustrations.

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