Cherie Reads

Otis and the Tornado

Otis and the Tornado - Loren Long 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 know there was a tornado and I like tractors. When I saw the tornado in the corner I was surprised and I liked the book even more. That's why I liked it 5 stars. What did you think of the pictures?I liked the pictures. That was a very good author and illustrator because they did a very very good job with the words and the pictures. Was there anything about the book you didn't like? I didn't like one little picture. Because when the tornado had dust I didn't like the dust. What did you think of the characters?The characters were pretty good. Otis and the bull were my favorite characters. What did you think of what Otis did?I think that was pretty brave of him and very helpful and very nice.Do you think other kids would like this book?YesWhat can we learn from what Otis did?That if we have a tornado we should stay calm and go somewhere safe where we won't get killed. And if somebody is left behind go quickly and then bring them back where everybody else is and be very careful and safe. Is there anything else you think everyone should know?They should know that they shouldn't be scared of the bull because at the very last page the bull is friends with all of the other animals and he's nice for the rest of his life. Mom's View:This was a really sweet story. Otis is friends with all of the barnyard animals except the Bull. The Bull is mean and doesn't like anyone. Even when Otis tries to befriend him, the Bull rebuffs him. One day, a tornado comes. Otis is scared for his friends in the barn so he braves the storm to open their pens and helps them to safety. While hiding from the storm, the friends hear the Bull crying. Should Otis risk his life to save the Bull even though he's a meanie? Otis decides to help and breaks down the Bull's fence and helps him to safety. Otis saves the day and the Bull decides to be friends from that day forward. The moral of this story is that we should help people and be kind, even when they're not very kind to us. It's a great lesson and this book highlights it in an exciting way. Ben is a big fan of the weather channel right now and is fascinated by tornadoes and other extreme weather events. He loved that this book was about a tornado and really got into the story when the action started. The illustrations are beautiful but are still cartoonish which really appealed to my son. The tornado is exciting but is not drawn in a way that is scary or intimidating to young readers. Ben loved that Otis was expressive. My younger 18 month old loved the illustrations of the farm animals. He kept interrupting to make the animal noises.There are lots of opportunity for meaningful discussion with your child. Friendship, how to react when someone is not nice or doesn't want to be your friend, what a tornado is, safety during a weather event, and most importantly, being kind and doing what's right even when it's scary.This was a great book and I would recommend it to any child but especially those interested in farms, tractors or weather events.