Christina Taylor's Reviews > Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners

Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: picturebooks
Read in July, 2011

Do Unto Otters is a delightful postmodern picturebook that employs acrylic paint on Arches watercolor paper to illustrate the golden rule in a fun-loving cartoon style. Mr. Rabbit’s happy-go-lucky frolic across double-page full-bleed spreads comes to an abrupt halt when he discovers that his new neighbors are otters. In a series of vignettes on single-page spreads, the anxiety that this news causes him is not only expressed in Mr. Rabbit’s words but is also reflected in Keller’s illustrations as each small scene punctuates his words like the quick shallow breathing that is indicative of hyperventilating. Luckily, Mr. Owl comes to his rescue with the sage advice to “do unto otters as you would have otters do unto you.” Mr. Rabbit is able to grasp the full meaning of these words by spending the rest of the book enumerating their practical ramifications with the help of his new neighbors who provide witty exemplars. “Do Unto Otters” would be a fun introduction to adages, puns, allusions, and metaficiton that could be adapted for any grade level.
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