Otis and the Tornado

(2011)
Otis and the Tornado

Author/artist Loren Long’s sweet and spunky little tractor, Otis, is back for another adventure—and what an adventure it is!   Otis spends many a summer day playing “Follow the Leader” with all the farm animals—all, that is, but the big, ornery bull that snorts and charges at anyone who comes near.  One day, the sky suddenly turns stormy, dark, and green, and the farm-folk scramble for shelter, with no time to tend to the animals.  The reason: a tornado is coming!  Otis springs into action with a clever idea to help his animal friends, as the twister bears down.  Can he save them all?

 This book literally has a silver lining, to match the return of sunny skies at the story’s end.  Although some children might be frightened by the images of a tornado and its wake, there will be others who will be fascinated by the theme; it may even serve as a comfort to children coping with a fear of severe weather.  Many will find the storm illustrations in murky gray, green and brown just scary enough, balanced by the warm, red coziness of Otis.

 Recommended for ages 3-8.

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