Otter in Space

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Otter in Space Book Poster Image
Otter rockets to the moon in fun celebration of imagination.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

A few facts about space travel, mention of "gravity" and moon rocks. Makes going to the museum look like loads of fun.

Positive Messages

Being able to make up your own fun is great, but there'll be consequences if you mess stuff up in the real world.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Otter is upbeat, creative, and self-entertaining. Otter Keeper is patient and tolerant and understands that Otter has a big imagination, messes up sometimes, but her heart's in the right place. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sam Garton's Otter in Space is the second book in the I Am Otter series and once again shows the creative, independent play of Otter and her best friend Teddy (a teddy bear) -- and all its messy consequences -- while Otter Keeper (the man who's kept her as a pet since he was a boy, as we learned in Book 1) is off at work. Here, Otter imagines she's taking a rocket ship to the moon to collect a moon rock, just like the one she saw in the space exhibition at the museum.

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What's the story?

While Otter Keeper's at work, Otter decides to rocket to the moon (actually the backyard) with Teddy. So she builds a space suit and rocket ship out of cardboard boxes and blasts off (from the top of the slide). Once there's an OTTER IN SPACE, she finds a moon rock (actually a garden boulder) and brings it back home. When Otter Keeper comes home and finds the garden torn up and a big dirty rock in the house, Otter Keeper has her take it back outside and adds "Do not dig up moon rocks" to Otter's do-not-do list on the refrigerator.

Is it any good?

Adorable Otter's imagination gets her mildly in trouble again in this delightful celebration of independent play and let's pretend. Otter's a great stand-in for a kid who gets carried away at make-believe. Otter Keeper is patient and tolerant and understands that Otter's just a creative self-starter whose heart is in the right place. 

The wonderful illustrations are full of fun details and deadpan expressions on the toys Otter plays with and imbues with opinions and reactions as he narrates their play, even though Teddy, for example, looks comatose at all times.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about outer space. Would you like to explore in a rocket ship? Do you ever pretend you're on another planet?

  • Did you read I Am Otter? What do you like about the Otter character? Do you want to keep following her adventures?

  • Do you have a favorite toy that you take on imaginary journeys? How is that toy like a real playmate?

Book details

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