A Review of ‘Lottie Potter Wants an Otter’ by Jeanne Willis and Leonie Lord


HarperCollins 2016 £6.99 Paperback

So what did I think?

I was at my local library the other day, and the title of this book caught my eye straight away. At first I spotted the spotty, dotty lettering, then the otters (see that one there with the string of snot?). Then I took in the title, and made an instant beeline to grab it! When I saw the name Jeanne Willis, I knew this book would be a big hit with both me and my three year old wholoves a whole bunch of other stories by this impressively prolific and award-winning author: especially There’s An Ouch in my Pouch, Sing a Song of Bottoms and Bottoms Up. I’m a big fan of the Dr. Xargle books myself, and was pretty staggered to learn that Jeanne has written over 150 books!

The front cover certainly reeled me in, and Leonie Lord‘s illustrations are full of texture and warmth. I love the soft, fat pencil lines, and kiddies will be delighted by the range of comical expressions and poses that the otters display. You may recognise Leonie’s style from Whiffy Wilson, Ding Dong Gorilla and The Dirty Great Dinosaur.

Lottie Potter Wants An Otter is jam packed with delicious sounding words, and the story is perfect to read aloud for 3 to 5 year olds. The poetry in the repetition of the otter rhymes, and all the consonance, assonance and alliteration also make it ideal for using with older children in KS2. It has a bouncy, rhythmic feel which pulls you along with a smile. If you love language, you’ll adore this book for your little one.

My favourite spread is when Mr Trotter tells Lottie Potter about his range of otters. He says:

“I’ve got spotty otters,

potty otters,

hot from Lanzarote otters…”

and the list goes on!

The voice and tone of the story reminded me of a really big favourite in our house, Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy and Polly Dunbar. The words just spring to life and create a musical quality which makes it great fun to perform! This is a great new addition to stories about wanting a pet which grown-ups and children will equally enjoy. I must get myself a copy, as I’ll be sad to hand it back to the library!

Happy Reading 🙂

Pippa Wilson @hellopipski




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