July 2012 Indie Next List
“Otter is looking for food and finds love. They just happen to be the same thing -- a fish named Myrtle. The other animals will not tolerate this odd behavior, and Myrtle cannot love an otter who eats her friends and family. With the help of a wise Beaver, will Otter live 'happily ever after' with his fish? Or is his tale destined to end 'And so their love could never be?' Raschka's abstract crayon and watercolor illustrations exude playfulness, their colors highlighting the emotions of James Howe's wonderful text.”
— Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
When an otter falls in love with a fish, can he dare to follow his heart? A delicious ode to nonconformity from a stellar picture-book pair.
The day Otter found love, he wasn’t looking for it. He was looking for dinner. But then he gazed into the round, sweet, glistening eyes of Myrtle the fish, and he knew. "Impossible," he said. "I am in love with my food source." As for Myrtle, her first desire was: Please don’t eat me. But soon her heart awakened to a future she could never have imagined. The inseparable duo played hide-and-seek and told each other stories, but everyone said that was not the way of the otter. Could their love (and Myrtle) possibly survive? Aided by Chris Raschka’s illustrations in a fresh faux-naïf style, James Howe tells a warm, witty tale about finding kindred spirits in the oddest of places-and having the good sense to keep them.
About the Author
James Howe is the acclaimed author of more than seventy books for young readers, including the much-lauded "Bunnicula "and its sequels. He lives in Yonkers, New York.
"From the Audiobook Download edition."
Chris Raschka is the illustrator of "The Hello, Goodbye Window", which was awarded the Caldecott Medal. He is also the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book "Yo! Yes?; Charlie Parker Played Be Bop; Mysterious Thelonious; John Coltrane's Giant Steps;" and "Can't Sleep." He lives with his wife and son in New York City.
The love between a fish and an otter is given the thoughtful treatment such an unexpected attraction deserves... Howe explores the pleasure and pain of loving someone who is different from one’s self in a manner that is both sophisticated and accessible to children... Raschka’s childlike renderings of creatures in thick, penciled outlines create the innocence, mirror the hope and provide the universality that contributes to the title’s ascent above its purely message-driven counterparts. Ever-changing watercolor washes and primordial shapes depict a wondrous, liquid world in which the star-crossed lovers learn to trust their hearts.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Howe’s story reaches beyond its target audience and presents a lovely, unpreachy allegory for relationships that fall outside the mainstream.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Together, Howe and Raschka movingly explore the complexities of who and how we love, where love found and where it takes us.
—New York Times online