Otter Loves Halloween!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Otter Loves Halloween! Book Poster Image
Otter conquers fears in cute, kid-like holiday romp.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows the rituals and costumes of Halloween.

Positive Messages

Things aren't as scary when you can't see them. It's OK to admit that you find something too scary. Sometimes a grown-up knows what to say and do to to help you feel better.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Otter is creative, enthusiastic, and in touch with her feelings. Otter Keeper is caring and patient and a creative problem-solver.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sam Garton's Otter Loves Halloween! is part of the Otter series featuring a super cute Otter, her deadpan toy friends, and Otter Keeper, the adult human in the home. In this installment, Otter prepares for Halloween and wants costumes and decorations to be scary. But it turns out she finds actual trick-or-treaters too scary. Otter Keeper finds a way to ease her fears, and Otter has a good Halloween after all in this oh-so-relatable tale with irresistible illustrations.

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What's the story?

Otter is very excited about Halloween. Otter Keeper takes her to get a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, and when they get home she decorates the house and creates costumes for herself and her stuffed animal friends -- and she wants them to be scary. When the trick-or-treaters finally come, she's so scared she runs upstairs and hides under the bed. Then Otter Keeper figures out a way for Otter to give out the candy without fear: He makes cardboard box masks for both Otter and Pig that cover their eyes, because "things are much less scary when you can't really see them," as Otter says. 

Is it any good?

Otter is all about scary until she gets scared by real trick-or-treaters in this cute Halloween tale. A big part of Otter's appeal (besides how cutely she's drawn) is how much like a real little kid she is in her creative play and her feelings. Generally spunky, confident, and fearless, she shows her vulnerable side in OTTER LOVES HALLOWEEN! as Otter Keeper helps her survive a night of strangers ringing the doorbell. We only see shadowy figures with a witch's hat and a pitchfork as accessories. The focus stays on Otter, her stuffed animal friends, and loving Otter Keeper. And that's just fine. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Halloween. Is it scary or fun, or both? When you're scared, do you feel like hiding, like Otter does?

  • Have you read any of the other Otter books? Do you like this one as much?

  • What's fun and funny about Otter? Is it how she's drawn or how she plays with her toys?

Book details

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