Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners

IMG_9673 [2578143]

Author/Illustrator: Laurie Keller

Publisher and Year: Christy Ottaviano Books, 2007

Number of Pages: 34

Genre: Fiction/Fable

IMG_9675 [2578144]A rabbit is skeptical about what his new otter neighbors will be like. He is told to treat them as he would want them to treat him. After realizing how he’d like to be treated, he sees that maybe his new neighbors won’t be so bad after all.

This story works well as a mirror and a door. There may be some children who feel torn about how to treat someone because they are different, this book would help with that. When people see others who are different they tend to feel that maybe that person shouldn’t be treated like everyone else. There is no real power distribution in this book, as this book just really focuses on the idea that one should treat others how they’d like to be treated.

Perceptually, lots of onomatopoeia is used throughout the book, making the book easier to read and helping children with sounds. The text adds to the images and the images add to the text. There is a lot of dialogue used, as the whole book is really just the rabbit going through his thoughts. Structurally, images are bright and full of color, making the text more entertaining. Facial expressions and specific fonts help the reader understand how the text should be read. The illustrator gives examples of ways to be friendly, so there is little confusion as to what the author means (they are the same person). The illustrator also breaks down and defines certain words, such as “cooperate” for beginning readers. Ideologically, this book teaches manners such as saying please, thank you, and excuse me to others. It also teaches readers how to be polite in different languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Pig Latin. It emphasizes great traits such as honesty, kindness, and sharing, which are important to teach children at a young age.