IF YOU TAKE AWAY THE OTTER, by Susannah Buhrman-Deever, Illustrated by Matthew Trueman, Candlewick Press

On the Pacific Coast of North America, sea otters play, dive, and hunt for sea urchins, crabs, abalone, and fish in the lush kelp forests beneath the waves. But there was a time when people hunted the otters almost to extinction. Without sea otters to eat them, an army of hungry sea urchins grew and destroyed entire kelp forests. Fish and other animals that depended on the kelp were lost, too. But when people protected the sea otters with new laws, their numbers began to recover, and so did the kelp forests. Susannah Buhrman-Deever offers a beautifully written account of a trophic cascade, which happens when the removal of a single element affects an entire habitat. Asides that dig deeper are woven throughout Matthew Trueman’s dynamic illustrations, starring a raft of charismatic sea otters. Back matter includes more information about sea otters and kelp forests, including their importance and current status, the effects of the international fur trade on indigenous peoples, and a list of books and websites for readers who wish to continue to explore.

Out May 2020

32 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

What a beautiful cover and book jacket. This large 10 x 10 hardcover book is stunning with a wonderful story about life on this planet. The otter is the focus along with its environment. The story tells an important story of how removing one element in the seas can affect an entire eco-system.

A thoughtful approach in a picture book aimed at the youngest of readers but can also be read by early readers, chapter book readers and special needs kids. Full of useful and educational information and a story to invoke conversations and thoughts regarding the future of this planet.

There’s a section at the back that adds more information about the otters and the affects on the fur trade and life for Indigenous people.

An excellent book for my collection that will be introduced to my clients.

I gave it:

Five golden rating star vector illustration in white background.

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