The second book by Chez Rafter that I read this month comes in the form of Otto the Otter’s Muddy Puddle. An adorably illustrated children’s book with an incredibly similar message; pollution is harmful toward animals. Of Rafter’s books raising awareness about the problems of pollution, Otto’s story was the better of the two. Not only did the book feature a much cuter creature as its protagonist, but the illustrations were more appealing and the rhyming in the story was infinitely better.
The story begins with a sad Otto Otter sitting within the very dirty and polluted water of what was once his very clean pond home. It follows a short list of all the nasty things that people have decided to toss into his habitat alongside rather emotional depictions of his sadness as a result. In fact, you get a little look into that with the cover itself. But Otto Otter isn’t the sort of guy who just sits back and lets his world become decimated. Otto does something about it.
And so the story follows his work to clean up the pond, helping out all the creatures who live there with him. Helping his neighbors happens to be his primary motivation. And he wears a sad smile as he goes about helping everyone. It’s this sad smile that really gets me. You see, Otto is hopeful. He knows that he can work to improve everyone’s situation. But his face shows quite clearly that he is sad he has to help in the first place. And I love that about this children’s book so much.
The ending of Otto’s story was perfect. The sad smile turns much happier and the final page of the book is nothing short of brilliant. It sends the message against pollution exceptionally. I loved every bit of it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.