Don’t you just love picture books? I do!!!! I especially love picture books that tell a true to life story. Pup 681 is a great book to introduce children to rescue work and lovely world that is sea otters. Reviewing this picture book taught me a few things about sea otters and is definitely worth reading.
From the Cover:
Washed ashore alone, a tiny sea otter pup needs help! Soon, a rescuer is there, to take her in and keep her warm and fed. The pup faces challenges in her new life without her sea otter family. But with the love and care of her rescuer, she flourishes in her new home. Inspired by a true story, this is a heartwarming and hopeful tale about family and love.
What you get:
You get a heart warming, sweet story. Pup 681 is such a little fellow. Needing help and then finding it. Can’t you just hear him call “Meeeh Meeeh”. The cry of a baby wanting family members to come and help.
Stunning pictures dot the pages, sometimes as a full two-page spread and other times as single illustrations. The colours are so reflective on the environment this wee otter would have found himself in.
Don’t the illustrations just bring the story to life? You can just see little otter getting better can’t you?
“and there she was warmed … and fluffed….and fed“
The care and concern given this wee pup was evident on every page. The hearts of the rescuers could be seen shining through as they worked to save the life of one wee pup washed up without his momma. Words so gentle, helpful and instruction… the way this tale was written suits the nature of the story.
I think this is a fantastic book which gives a good introduction to otters and some of their unique features. It is a fun, well written story with great illustrations. I would be an excellent introduction to a course of study on sea others or other oceanic life. Knowing that there is a real Pup 681 (though this work is ficitional) gives a personal touch to your study.
If you are looking for other resources to help you in your study of Sea Otters you may want to consider:
My only concern was the “bambi syndrome” where human emotions were applied to this little otter. One doesn’t know if a rescued otter baby would be feeling an emptiness inside. We shouldn’t apply human emotions to animals like that. It might make for an easier story to write but doesn’t really respect the otter as a wild animal.
Pup 681: a sea otter rescue story.
Illustrator: Ashley Crowley
Henry Holt and Company
40 pages, trade paperback,
Picture book, age 4-8
Biology, Rescue, Sea Otter, Science
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.