Here’s one of the risks of writing a blog about books. There is a temptation to be “the boy (or girl) who cried wolf.” There are only so many times that I can say a book is a new favorite or something you absolutely have to read. Eventually, the reader will understandably say “I thought the last book you wrote about was one of the best.” But, trust me. Otto the Book Bear, a new picture book by Katie Cleminson, is one of the sweetest stories you will ever read. Even my partner in the Inly Library, who reads stacks of new picture books, was immediately captivated by this one.
Otto is a bear who lives in a book. Like all good picture book characters, nothing makes him happier than kids reading about him. Otto also comes to life and can often be found wandering away from the safety of his pages. One day Otto is left behind – his book disappears while he is on one of his excursions. Then, Otto is left to negotiate big world on his own.
What I love most is when Otto is safely situated in his book, he’s big. But when he’s out in the world, he looks really small. Otto finds his way back, but you have to read it to see how incredibly touching it is. I don’t purchase many picture books for myself, but I’m going to buy a copy of this one.