The Children’s Book Review | May 19, 2017
Written by Jonathan London
Illustrated by Sean London
Paperback: 32 pages
Age Range: 4-6
Publisher: WestWinds Press (2017)
What to Expect: Nature, Baby Animals, Growing-Up
From the instant of his birth until the moment he is grown enough to leave his mother, Pup the Sea Otter’s life is filled with love, excitement, and new experiences. Although at first he is dependent on his mother’s protection and her milk for survival, Pup soon learns more: what to eat and how to dive for food, when to watch out for predators, and how to play with the other Pups. Following Pup’s life story, young readers learn that it is ok to look for help from time to time, and that however frightening growing-up may be, life is one big, exciting adventure.
Pup the Sea Otter is a non-fiction book told in a narrative style that is engaging and captivating. Sensory language invites the reader to empathize with Pup’s experiences, while Sean London’s colorful and life-like illustrations draw the reader in to Pup’s watery world. Particularly intriguing about this narrative is the dual perspective from which it is told: rather than focusing exclusively on the perspective of the Pup, the story begins with a perspective split between Pup and his mother, and only gradually shifts to being exclusively from Pup’s perspective. Mimicking the increasing awareness and independence of a child as he or she grows up, this subtle approach not only teaches the child about this fascinating animals, but also invites him or her to consider the relationship between animals and humans, and how similar we really are.
Overall, this is a beautiful book, combining natural history education with literacy support and empathy development. Fun as well as educational, it is a good choice for home or school.
Download this free study guide: Pup the Sea Otter Activity Guide
About the Author
Jonathan London has written more than one hundred picture books for children, many of them about wildlife. He is also the author of the popular Froggy series. He lives with his wife in northern California. www.jonathan-london.net.
About the Illustrator
Sean London received a BFA from CalArts in Character Animation and has done animation for Disney. He has also collaborated with his father on the Aaron’s Wilderness series: Desolation Canyon, Bella Bella, and Grizzly Peak.
Pup the Sea Otter, by Jonathan London, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Pup the Sea Otter by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Baby Animal Books, Growing Up, Jonathan London, Natural History Books, and Otters.