Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
Otis Book Poster Image
A humorous tale of individuality and friendship.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fun story with simple writing and expressive cartoonlike illustrations conveys both family love and Otis's determination to be himself. Readers will chuckle at a pig that dislikes mud.

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What's the story?

A pig that doesn't like the mud? Otis prefers to stay spotless, though his family loves the mud. But Otis befriends a frog that dislikes mud as well. A humorous story, with serene illustrations, about individuality and friendship should entertain both parent and child.


Is it any good?

This gentle lesson of being oneself and being accepted is valuable for children, and kids will enjoy the twist in this story -- a pig not wanting to be messy. Otis knows that he's different, but he is determined to be himself. His brothers and sisters accept him, although he chooses not to play in the mud with them.

Watercolor-and-ink illustrations are framed in white with text overlaid on the pictures. Cartoon-like art portrays Otis and his rotund family humorously but sympathetically. The obvious joy of his fellow pigs sliding down a mud hill contrasts perfectly with the illustration of Otis, with a most unpleasant look on his face, imagining himself covered in mud.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about acceptance and the importance of staying true to yourself. Is it hard to do? What makes it easier?

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