Sunday, September 29, 2013

Big Top Otto (Elephants Never Forgot Book #2) by Bill Slavin –NO

Slavin, Bill Big Top Otto (Elephants Never Forgot Book #2) 128 pgs. Kids Can Press, 2013. $12.20.  Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Otto is an elephant who is searching for his monkey friend named Georgie. After seeing a circus poster with an monkey, he seeks out the circus. Together with his parrot friend Crackers, they get into continuous mischief –at a football game, a parade, and more. When the pair find animals in big time danger they know they have to help out.

Although the artwork is bright and varied in presentation, something about it just feels dated to me, like comics in old newspapers. The plot was extremely fast paced. This book faces a demographic problem –the language is too old/dated slang for elementary students, but I think middle schoolers won’t find animals capers very interesting. On top of that the historical heroine Harriet Tubman is portrayed in this book as a fat pig named Harriet Tubby. Escaped farm animals were the ‘slaves’ on the underground railroad. I found the entire scene extremely offensive.

EL –NO Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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