Sunday, September 25, 2011

Otters and Owls in Nonfiction Monday!

A sea otter is quite large; a male can be as big as a German shepherd dog. They are good parents too. Sometimes sea otter moms will wrap their pup in kelp (a large, brown seaweed) to keep it in one place while she dives for food. River otters are half or a third of the size of a sea otter, but they are equally fascinating. River otters are speedy swimmers. They swim fast enough to catch fish, their favorite food. River otters hunt in the water and rest in dens on land, while sea otters stay in the water, finding shelter and food in forests of kelp. I like “Otters” very much. Its fluid and accurate text and its colorful, lovely illustrations combine well to introduce early readers to the otter world.
Same goes for “Owls.” There are about 180 species of owls in the world living in all continents, except Antarctica, but I am thankful to scientists who have agreed that all those species can be put together in one of two groups; barn owls or typical owls. Among all birds of prey owls are quite fascinating with their ability to glide so quietly not even a mouse can hear them. The great gray owl is the largest of them all, being almost as tall as a kitchen counter. The elf owl is the smallest of the owls. It would fit in a child’s palm. And here is an owl fact that made me giggle: “A group of owls is called a parliament.” A cool link to government studies!
Otters and owls are amazing animals, with fascinating adaptations that make them favorites of children and adults. Both books have a glossary and illustrations of the various species around the world, while focusing on the North American species. I believe these books will trap you in kelp or catch you with their talons (softly) and won’t let you go until you read the last page.
“Otters” (2003) and “Owls” (2004) are both written by Adrianne Mason and illustrated by Nancy Gray Ogle, and published by Kids Can Press, Toronto, Canada.
“Otters” ISBN: 1-55337-407-X “Owls” ISBN: 978-1-55337-624-8
Visit True Tales & a Cherry on Top, for more Nonfiction Monday blog posts.


  1. Hi Ana, What a fun combination -- otters and owls! They both look like great books.

    Thanks for participating in Nonfiction Monday.

  2. Great recommendations, Ana. Thanks.

    PS. I have to tell you that just last weekend I saw a great horned owl in a city park near where I live. Calgary is a city of a million people and it always surprises me to find wildlife in it. The owl was incredibly beautiful.

  3. My pleasure, Tammy. What a sight the great horned owl must have been. Did you have the chance to take a picture? I have not seen owls at home in Houston, Texas, but once in a while a hawk visits and sends all the other birds flying in a hurry. I need to get my camera ready.