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Otto: The Boy Who Loved Carsby Kara Lareau
Synopses & Reviews
Otto loves cars more than anything else in the world. He plays with cars, he dreams about cars, . . . he even eats cars (his favorite cereal is Wheelies). But that all changes when he awakes one morning to find that he has somehow turned into a car.Otto soon realizes that there is a downside to actually becoming his favorite thing. While the rest of his friends get to play and draw, Otto can only honk and sputter. Will Otto ever be able to switch gears and go back to being a boy?
"With his homonymic name, Otto might be forgiven for loving autos 'above all places and things (and even most people).' More than his one-track racetrack mind, Otto's flaw is his self-centeredness. In his rush to his race car — festooned bedroom, he does not return his mother's hug, and at recess, he will play only car-themed games with his friends Chevy, Mini, and Kia. Despite his mother's admonition that 'Everyone has to shift gears sometime,' Otto remains unconvinced until he wakes up as a sporty red convertible. Nobody notices the change, yet he can only 'honk' and 'vroom.' He drives to school amid traffic fumes, plays alone, and has to skip lunch. Back home, he sadly 'ran out of gas and went to sleep.' LaReau and Magoon (who previously collaborated on Ugly Fish) take aim at children focused on material goods (or other obsessions) over relationships; an undersize typeface and long explanations suggest this warning proved hard to distill. Overnight, Otto transforms into a considerate and grateful boy, providing a wishful, Pinocchio-like conclusion but minimal practical advice. Ages 2 — 6. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Respected editor Kara LaReau now runs an editorial consulting company called Bluebird Works. She collaborated with her sister Jenna on Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party and Rocko and Spanky Have Company, and with Scott Magoon on Ugly Fish and Rabbit and Squirrel. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband and their two cats.
While moonlighting as a designer at a major children's publishing house, Scott Magoon has illustrated many successful books including Spoon by Amy Krause Rosenthal and the aforementioned Ugly Fish and Rabbit and Squirrel. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons.
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