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Otis and the Tornado (Otis)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  554 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
Otis and all his farm friends are enjoying a summer's day, but the bull has no interest in playing and stays in his pen. Suddenly the day turns frightening and stormy: it's a tornado! Otis takes all of the animals to safety, but the bull is still locked in his pen! Quick as his tires will take him, Otis putt puff puttedy chuffs back to the farm to save the day.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Philomel Books
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Otis by Loren LongAngela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourtMy Dog, My Hero by Betsy ByarsThe Wonders of Donal O'Donnell by Gary D. SchmidtThe Day the Animals Came by Frances Ward Weller
Best of Loren Long
17th out of 49 books — 1 voter
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleDon't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo WillemsDr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. SeussIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Best Books to Read to 3-5 Year-Old Children
302nd out of 431 books — 335 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 839)
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Richie Partington
Nov 05, 2011 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
9 October 2011 OTIS AND THE TORNADO by Loren Long, Philomel, September 2011, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-399-25477-2

"All at once the wind stopped blowing, not even a breeze, and the wind disappeared. The sky turned a strange shade of green and the farm fell completely still. The only sound Otis heard as he putt puffed toward the barn was the farmer shouting in the distance.
"'It's coming fast, get down in the cellar!'"

I've been through swarms of blizzards and multitudes of blackouts. I've experienced his
Nov 15, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I'll say right off the bat that I am a big fan of Otis. I fell in love with him the minute I read the first book. So much so that I ordered the stuffed toy. I like this book even better than first. The large, bright illustrations make this book perfect as a read-a-loud. The picture of the bull does a great job of emphasizing his bigness and grumpiness. The writing is clear and crisp and great for reading out-loud. I found it easy to change my tone of voice with the changing emotion of the story. ...more
Andrew Stockle
Jun 23, 2015 Andrew Stockle rated it really liked it
Otis is a little tractor who lives on a farm. Otis is friends with all of the farm animals except for a mean bully Bull. The bull is not exactly the nicest animal, he huff, snorts, stomps, glares, and rams the fence whenever others come near. One day a tornado touches down near the farm and Otis tries his very best to help get the animals to safety. All of the animals except for the bull that is. When Otis finally remembers that he has forgotten to help the bull he races back toward the farm and ...more
Rosa Cline
Dec 09, 2015 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Otis is a tractor and this is one of the several books in a series of books about him and his farm he lives on. The more my nearly 4 year old granddaughter and I read about him the more we enjoy him! Such wonderful books! In this one Otis plays with all the farm animals after a day of work, but there is one animal no one plays with the bull! And he doesn't want to have anything to do with anyone else either! Otis tries to be his friend but the bull will have nothing of it and scares Otis away. B ...more
Robert J
Apr 25, 2015 Robert J rated it liked it
I love the theme of helping others. I also love the pictures done in pencil and gouache. This is an over sized book which helps to accentuate the beautiful pictures. The two page spread of the bull is especially impressive looking. What I didn't like, especially for a children's book, was the lack of confirmation the family survived the tornado. You see a visibly shaken farmer and his two boys go into the storm cellar but you never see them again. When Otis and the animals come back to the farm ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it
(2011) Fear and Bravery

Otis is the name of a tractor. He is on a farm and you can see a tornado in the background. What feelings would Otis be going through right now? We have had a tornado here and many of you remember what you did and how you felt on October 4, 2013. Let's see what the farm creatures do and feel during a tornado.

This book details different personality traits that can work together to help each other in a disaster. We are all different, but we want to protect everyone from har
Jul 26, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-lit
I'm glad the Otis books have their devoted following because I just don't get what all the enthusiasm is about. Like the first volume, the illustrations are well executed while bordering on cute. This anthropomorphized tractor exhibits bravery and loyalty to a growing circle of friends, but that didn't make me care or want to share it with my grandkids or young friends. The best of the book is the double-page spread of the lone tractor standing on a hilltop while the tornado touches down in the ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Cherie rated it it was amazing
My son brought this book home from his school library this week. We decided to review it together. This review can also be found as part of my weekly Kiddie Korner feature on my blog, Cherie Reads.

Ben's View (My 5 year old son):

If you had to rate this book from 1-5 stars what would you rate it?
5 Stars! (Note: I explained what each number in the rating system means)

Did you like the book?
I liked it but I don't know why the tractor only has 3 wheels. All tractors have 4! I liked it because I didn't
Otis the tractor enjoys his life on the farm. When the daily work was done, he and his friend Calf and the other farm animals enjoyed a game of follow-the-leader through and around the farm. There was one animal, however, that none of the other animals liked: The Bull. Bull was kept all by himself in his own enclosure and pasture. He doesn't play well with others.

One day the weather turned nasty and a storm blew through. When the rain was done the sky turned a strange green color and it became v
Dustin Roberts
Feb 08, 2012 Dustin Roberts rated it really liked it
A bright red tractor, named Otis, and all of his friends on the farm love to play follow the leader on a wonderful summer day. Everybody joins in except the mean ol' bull. The bull remains alone and lets no one come near his pen. Even when Otis brings him an apple the bull shows his anger and disgust. But, when a bad storm hits and all the friends are forced to take shelter from a tornado, everybody forgets about the bull except Otis. Otis rushes back to the pen and struggles with a stiff latch. ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Anthony rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Otis is a little tractor on the farm. In his spare time he likes to play follow the leader with all of his barnyard animal pals. All of the animals on the farm love Otis, all except one, the bull. The bull wasn’t friendly with anyone, and even though Otis tried to be nice to him the bull was as cantankerous as ever. One day a tornado touches down on the farm and Otis tries to round up all his animal friends and get them to safety, but the bull is not Otis’ friend. Whatever will happen to him?

I l
Jessica Hottman
Otis is a “friendly little tractor” that lives on a farm where the sunshine is bright and Otis plays with his friend the calf. This idealistic setting gives the reader some indication that disaster may be approaching, but does a poor job of hooking the reader into the story. Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long, sounds like a story that should be filled with adventure and a “twisted” plot, but this story follows most classic children’s novels and is a bit boring.
After all of the work is done on
Taril Slater
Apr 17, 2014 Taril Slater rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edr-653
I live in a city where a bad tornado came through and destroyed a great part of the city. An increase in safety and preparing for storms has taken place in the area and a book like this would be a little sensitive. I like the story and think it has a very sweet ending with forming of friendships. I personally have to be careful with how to use this book in the classroom in my area.
Apr 12, 2014 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Our month of story times inspired from themes found in L. Frank Baum's WIZARD OF OZ coincided with this year's READ FOR THE RECORD selection: OTIS AND THE TORNADO by Loren Long. Some high school students had a class assignment to read to a group of children so we had "guest presenters" on our "Toto and Tornadoes" week, reading THIS book.
Jesse Lasarte
Apr 13, 2013 Jesse Lasarte rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
There is not really a creative story plot here. A tractor saves an angry bull that none of the animals liked from a devastating tornado. Consequently, the bull changes his attitude and befriends the tractor and the other animals. Admittedly, I was attracted to this book because I read on the cover it was from a New York Times bestseller. Although the theme is admirable, I don’t think the story is especially memorable. In the end, the illustrations are what might make this book enjoyable to young ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, other-usa, 2011
This is a dramatic and entertaining story that features a plucky little tractor named Otis. He is very heroic in this story (although I was sure to caution our girls not to ever try something like that if we were ever in a situation like that with a tornado.)

I have to admit that I passed over this book several times at the library, dismissing it as a "boy's book." Boy, was I ever wrong. The fact that Otis is a tractor may appeal to boys more than girls, but the story is well worth the read. The
Aug 01, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Otis the tractor and his farm friends have learned to give a wide berth to the cranky bull; instead, they enjoy playing with each other on the farm. But when a tornado heads their way one day, Otis must lead the animals to safety in a low-lying area while the farmer and his family head underground. Everyone is safe except the bull who is penned up. Otis bravely rescues him, and the animals ride out the storm, coming out to see the havoc wreaked by the wind after the tornado has passed. I liked t ...more
Brittney Peay
Jun 25, 2015 Brittney Peay rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about bravery and friendship. Otis is a tractor that works on a farm and is friends with all the animals except the angry bull. When a tornado comes he gets all his friends to safety but hears the bull crying for help. He goes and helps the bull and everyone is safe in the end. It's a really good story about friendship and it gives kids a good example of the kind of friends they should have; kind loving ones who help all. I feel Otis is the person people strive to be or want ...more
Theme: Loving one another even the unlovable

Another great book to use when talking about the way we treat one another and loving the "unlovable" as well as not giving up on someone after one attempt to be kind.
The book would also be great for inference, where students could infer what is going to happen as we read, and discuss their thought process. I would also point out the illustrations with the dark lines and colors to have the students infer why they think the illustrator choose such color
Aug 18, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
How we love Otis!! He always does the right thing without thinking twice. It is no wonder he has so many lovely, devoted friends! Easy to teach my boys about being good a good friend when there is such a sweet example to read over and over.
Stephanie Croaning
Oct 15, 2013 Stephanie Croaning rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I fell in love with Otis in his first book, and that feeling is multiplied in OTIS AND THE TORNADO. Loren Long is able to achieve what seems nearly impossible - 1) making a tractor cute and lovable; and 2) creating a feel-good children's picture book about a tornado. This book tells the story of friendship, courage, 2nd chances, and helping out someone in need. These are all important lessons for children, and especially children in Indiana who can relate to the farm community and severe weather ...more
Nov 15, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is one of the best Otis books, in my opinion. I think this book has more real drama and a sweeter message than any of the others.
Sep 16, 2015 Russell rated it really liked it
Much like the attack of the Lich King or the thread of the Silithid, adversity brings people together.
John Boettcher
Sep 16, 2013 John Boettcher rated it it was amazing
A great children's book! My kids absolutely LOVE reading this book. An avid Weather Channel fan, they are probably the only 6 and 4 year old in the country who knows how to read a radar map.

They love the interaction between the animals and the dialogue is just a bit more than simple. But as I was reading the book to my son tonight, my daughter in a completely different room in the house was finishing the main parts of the book by yelling them to us across the house!

It's a fun book to read over
Daniel Riles
Feb 12, 2012 Daniel Riles rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Having grown up in the Midwest, the appearance of a tornado is significant cause for fear in children. My 3.5 year old daughter has not experienced the wail of tornado sirens or the mad scramble to get to designated locations and to assume the tornado safety position.

That being said, she got the significance by each of the characters' reactions. If she really knew tornadoes, this might have been too much for her. As it was, she loves animals and tractors, so the story was just right.

She loved
Kay Cochran
Jan 10, 2016 Kay Cochran rated it liked it
Not as cute!

Does not end softly--it's kind of an abrupt, nearly sad ending.
Dimity Powell
Mar 22, 2015 Dimity Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
Beautiful illustrations. Loved that the mc is a chipper little red tractor!
Dec 29, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A cute book about simple fun, a tornado, and dealing with a bully. Otis is a tractor who tries to play with all the animals on the farm but the bull only snorts at him. All the other animals enjoy playing follow the leader and other games. When a tornado comes, they run to safety. Then Otis hears the bull crying out in fright. Otis goes to save him and from then on he joins them in their games. A decent amount of words on each page make this book best suited for one on one sharing with preschool ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Good follow-up from Otis and the Puppy (2nd grade)
Sue Berg
i listened to an audio version, read by Trace Adkins
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I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky in the 1970’s. We had no artists of any kind in the family. We didn’t know any artists. I liked sports, especially baseball. My mother read to me a lot. But I have to admit, my favorite subject in school was gym class. I also liked to draw. My parents encouraged me to keep drawing.
More about Loren Long...

Other Books in the Series

Otis (5 books)
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  • Otis and the Puppy
  • Otis Loves to Play
  • An Otis Christmas

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