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Cover image for A lot of otters
A lot of otters
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, ©1997.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
As a lot of otters wrestle, roll, and cavort on the water, they make such a commotion of light that Mother Moon finds her lost child.


Call Number

On Order



When Mother Moon can't find her moonlet, she cries and cries. With every tear that falls, a star drops into the sea where a young boy floats in a small brown box amidst a family of frolicking otters. Barbara Helen Berger's poetic text and luminous art come together to form an enchanting story about the boundless power of a mother's love. Full color.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS‘In this gentle, lovely fantasy, a winsome toddler climbs into a cardboard box, book in hand, and sails off into a nighttime encounter with a band of otters. Spare lines of text follow the reading child out onto the water, where the book falls overboard, soon to be retrieved by the curious otters, some holding their own babies. The unseen Mother Moon weeps tears that fall as stars on the drifting crowd, and soon all are caught up in diving and grasping these glittering objects. Berger's softly drawn otters are comical and appealing as they cavort through the blue and green water swirling across the double-pages, playing with the stars and the picture book and reaching out to the baby in his box. Mother Moon finally notices the commotion and is reunited with her child in the star-filled sea. Moon Mother and her sleeping moonlet, surrounded by drifting, sleepy otters, are framed by a pale green moon for the quiet conclusion. The child in soft red pajamas, his red jacketed book telling also of moon and stars, and the tan cardboard box are both playful and familiar touches, grounding the scheme in the real world as it pushes easily into dreamland. The deft flow of words and pictures and the universal theme of the venturing child and anxious mother reunited are a satisfying combination, and toddlers are sure to delight in the mischievous antics of all those whiskery otters.‘Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Newly available as a board book, A Lot of Otters by Barbara Helen Berger tells of a group of otters who help reunite Mother Moon with her child. (Philomel, $7.99 30p ages 2-up ISBN 9780-399-25015-6; Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

While floating in a box on the water, a little boy reads a bedtime story to himself. When he drops the book overboard, a group of otters find it and act out the story within the story about a lost 'moon child' who is found by 'a lot of otters...in a sea of stars.' Berger's soft illustrations match this gentle, if a bit vague, bedtime tale. From HORN BOOK 1997, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The title may give the impression that this is a counting book; instead, Berger (The Jewel Heart, 1994, etc.) presents an exquisitely composed and tender fantasy, melding text and pictures so well that one could not exist without the other. She calibrates the pacing of this picture book perfectly: The first page shows a toddler walking with a book; the baby climbs into a box at the title page; at the opening of the real story, the child begins reading the book, about ``Mother Moon'' looking for her child, her ``moonlet.'' What the child sees on the picture-book page is the scene readers see; from there, the events are nonstop: The toddler drops the book, and an otter spots it from underwater. That otter reads the book aloud to a group of otters treading water, including one who floats on her back with her baby lying upon her like a fuzzy teddy bear. The moon-mother's tears fall into the sea, turning into stars--a folktale element that allows for lovely compositions as the otters dive for the stars. Mother and moonlet--who turns out to be the toddler--are reunited. Themes of independence, separation, and reunion are all given play in a book in which sweet otters act like children and look like expertly drafted, favorite stuffed animals, floating and dozing off at the end. (Picture book. 2-6)