Otis the Owl

Booklist - February 2017

The story is quiet rather than dramatic, but the exceptionally clear, close-up photos of Otis and his family command attention, and Holland’s short, simply written text is informative yet accessible. Kids intrigued by Otis may also enjoy the appended section that explains owl pellets and owl anatomy, while asking readers to identify which of eight pictured animals are part of an owl’s diet and to match photos with the body parts described on the facing page. Holland, a naturalist and a skilled nature photographer, offers a visually captivating picture book on owls.

School Library Journal - February 2017

PreS-Gr 1—This gem introduces children to the charming simplicity of the life of Otis and his barred owl family. His home is a hole in a craggy tree, where readers can observe as he eats under the watchful eye of his parents, squabbles and reconciles with his sister, and prepares for flight. Holland's photography matches the text well. After reading about the adorable Otis, students will be curious to learn more about barred owls. Back matter consists of additional information on anatomy, prey, and regurgitation, subjects that could spark discussion with an adult. VERDICT Delightful for nonfiction storytimes everywhere, especially those with an interest in baby animals.—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA

Foreword Reviews - March/April 2017

Watch in wonder as Otis transforms from a tiny ball of fluff into a predator on the cusp of stretching his feathers beyond the safety of his family tree, in Otis the Owl, a real-life glimpse into the world of the woodland Barred Owl. Nature photographer Mary Holland’s breathtaking images capture the fierce beauty found in birds of prey, and candid commentary educates and enlightens while engaging audiences with questions, quizzes, and creative thinking.

Kirkus Reviews - December 2016

He’s just a little ball of fluff perched in a tree. Readers get a surprise when another ball of fluff appears. Otis has a sister! Touching on the general skills a young owl must learn to become independent (how to eat, strengthening wings for flight), Holland lightly dips in to this bird of prey’s life

Publishers Weekly - December 2016

Holland’s photographs offer engaging shots of the owlets, but because Otis and his sister don’t stray far from the nest, there’s little variation in the images, most of which show them peering from the hole in the tree they inhabit. A closing section of quizzes, owl-related vocabulary, and other details add educational heft to this brief introduction to owls’ daily existence.

NSTA Recommends - February 2017

Otis the Owl is a must–have for the elementary classroom and at–home libraries and this 32–page book, stocked with superior factual information about owls, will not sit on the shelf for very long!

Librarian Review - December 2016

Cute story with cute photos! This little book should keep young owl fans happy! It's all about Otis from birth to gong out on his own and his family.

Conny Withay - February 2017

What makes this book interesting is not only the section on an owl living in a tree and learning how to climb out and fly away but also the facts regarding how the birds cough up skeletons, also eat frogs, snakes, and skunks, and that their ears are on the sides of their heads, not tops. Any child will enjoy looking at the close-up photographs while learning about these birds.

How Useful It Is - February 2017

This book is awesome! It’s packed with knowledge from the owl’s birth to when they learn to fly...My son and I learned about owl pellets. My son was super excited to learn of this new information that he called his dad over to tell him about it. We also love a page with pictures of different animals that Owls eats. I truly recommend this book for all readers!