Hey Otter! Hey Beaver!

J. Brian Pinkney

Book - 2023

"Good friends Otter and Beaver use water and sticks for very different purposes as they spend time together"--

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Children's Room jE/Pinkney Checked In
Children's Room New Shelf jE/Pinkney (NEW SHELF) Due Sep 11, 2023
Animal fiction
Picture books
New York : Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2023]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades K-1.
Main Author
J. Brian Pinkney (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Odd dynamics don't spoil this friendship story but may leave more literal-minded young readers floundering. Otter delights in playing with sticks and branches in the rushing water, but Beaver "really really really really" needs them to build a dam--and so repeatedly snatches them out of Otter's paws. At last Otter, playfully or otherwise, pulls a stick out of the finished dam, which causes it to collapse, whereupon the two join paws to dive into the newly freed freshet after a new stick. Both seem repentant at the end, but Otter looks distinctly annoyed earlier on, which sends a mixed signal about whether the dam represented a conflict of agendas or a cooperative project all along. Still, Pinkney's big, swirling brushwork gives the fluvial setting plenty of visual flow. Chunky Beaver and his sinuous (ungendered) playmate are expressively posed, and by the end, both they and the little bird and turtle that have been looking on are amicably side by side.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Told in snappy, reiterative dialogue that offers a chantlike feel, this portrait of two different personalities abounds with fluid sights and rhythmic sounds. Lithe Otter has brown fur and ample whiskers; purple Beaver has oversize incisors, a jowly snout, and a flat tail. Approaching the water together, the two swim among vibrant, multihued paint strokes that seem to swirl and splash. Flowing water and floating sticks mean playtime to Otter: "I'm balancing this stick. Now I'm tossing this stick. It's time to play!" To Beaver, though, they represent precious building materials: "I really really really really need that stick to build my dam." The two spar in quick repartee over everything that comes along, but neither one dominates the sparky interactions, which prove mutually respectful instead of conflict-driven: "What about twigs? Can you use twigs?" Otter asks. "I found these twigs!" When the dam is finished, Otter tries an experiment, and the results have the potential for catastrophe--or maybe not. Friends don't have to be similar to get along, Pinkney (Bright Brown Baby) shows; they don't even have to define fun the same way to have a good time. Ages 4--8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2--Pinkney's latest picture book is a playful and vibrant story of friendship. Otter and Beaver are best friends. When they come across a tumbling stream, Otter sees it as the perfect place to play, while Beaver sees it as just the spot to build a dam. The two friends seem at odds, until a mishap shows that they can work together to both get what they want. The text accurately captures the personalities of the two creatures and will make for an engaging read-aloud. The ink, watercolor, and acrylic illustrations are bold and vibrant. They capture the movement of the water and animals perfectly. VERDICT With a clear cadence and plenty of charm, this is an ideal read-aloud to introduce lessons on friendship and compromise.--V. Lynn Christiansen

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

Each element of this playful battle of wills between two best friends exudes joie de vivre. Otter spots sticks and branches and sees them as toys. Beaver, however, sees them as tools to build a dam, and so the pair spends a happy day jostling over who gets the twigs. The patterned, rhythmic dialogue between Otter and Beaver makes for a musical read-aloud: "Give me those branches. I need those branches. Please give me give me give me those branches right now!" The illustrations reinforce that this is all in good fun: frolicking, not bickering, without any moralizing over the value of work over play. Exuberant Otter is shaped like a smile, and stalwart Beaver is sturdy and strong. The two mirror each other in spread after spread, set against sunny, impressionistic backdrops made of swoops and swirls in glowing yellows and cool aquas. While this book is bound to become a storytime favorite, the word repetition, straightforward plot, and clear images make it a fine choice for new readers too. Please give us give us give us more Otter and Beaver. Adrienne L. PettinelliMarch/April 2023 p.51 (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Can two friends find a way to work and play? Otter and Beaver are furry, young creatures who are ready to spend some time together in the local stream. For Otter, the stream is full of sticks, branches, and twigs to be used as toys, but for Beaver, the stream is overflowing with building materials for a new dam. Swirling, playful spreads show the two swimming about: fun-loving Otter frolicking and serious Beaver constructing his structure. At last, Beaver, having collected all of the pieces of wood that Otter was playing with, builds a dam. But now there is nothing left for Otter to play with! Surely Otter can remove just one stick for a toy…? "BOOM! CRASH! SWOOOOOSH!" What is a goodhearted, hardworking beaver to do? Start again, of course! Young listeners will find the situation familiar--they'll only need to substitute blocks or LEGO for wood--and see ways that the animals begin to consider point of view, compromise, get along, and enjoy each other's company in spite of and because of their differences. With illustrations that ripple with warmth, this simple tale brings together themes of friendship, perspective, and empathy. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Proof positive that friends can get along, no matter how seemingly disparate. (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.