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The Secret Life of the Sea Otter

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Follow a year in the life of an adorable sea otter as she creatively hunts for food, deftly avoids danger from a great white shark, and gives birth to a pup. Living off the coast of California in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Lutris the sea otter shares her life in a giant kelp forest habitat with many other otters and animals. Lutris is resourceful and relies on her keen sen Follow a year in the life of an adorable sea otter as she creatively hunts for food, deftly avoids danger from a great white shark, and gives birth to a pup. Living off the coast of California in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Lutris the sea otter shares her life in a giant kelp forest habitat with many other otters and animals. Lutris is resourceful and relies on her keen sense of sight and smell to find food and survive. When her pup is born, Lutris lovingly tends to and teaches her daughter until she is ready to head out into the world on her own. Filled with important facts and gorgeous illustrations, readers will be fascinated by the story of these remarkable mammals. This latest title in the Secret Life series has been vetted by a sea otter expert and includes back matter with more in-depth information, a glossary, and further resources.


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Follow a year in the life of an adorable sea otter as she creatively hunts for food, deftly avoids danger from a great white shark, and gives birth to a pup. Living off the coast of California in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Lutris the sea otter shares her life in a giant kelp forest habitat with many other otters and animals. Lutris is resourceful and relies on her keen sen Follow a year in the life of an adorable sea otter as she creatively hunts for food, deftly avoids danger from a great white shark, and gives birth to a pup. Living off the coast of California in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Lutris the sea otter shares her life in a giant kelp forest habitat with many other otters and animals. Lutris is resourceful and relies on her keen sense of sight and smell to find food and survive. When her pup is born, Lutris lovingly tends to and teaches her daughter until she is ready to head out into the world on her own. Filled with important facts and gorgeous illustrations, readers will be fascinated by the story of these remarkable mammals. This latest title in the Secret Life series has been vetted by a sea otter expert and includes back matter with more in-depth information, a glossary, and further resources.

30 review for The Secret Life of the Sea Otter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a beautiful and calm, soothing, relaxing read for children. The illustrations are stunning and I just fell in love with sea otters from reading this! The story is about Lutris the sea otter and her pup and cleverly weaves facts and information about sea otters through the story. Children will fall in love with this book and it would be a per I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a beautiful and calm, soothing, relaxing read for children. The illustrations are stunning and I just fell in love with sea otters from reading this! The story is about Lutris the sea otter and her pup and cleverly weaves facts and information about sea otters through the story. Children will fall in love with this book and it would be a perfect bedtime read due to its calming qualities. At the back there is s glossary and further information section which is ideal for older children and adults to learn even more about this beautiful animal.

  2. 5 out of 5

    vera

    Thank you to netgalley for the arc of this book! This story follows the daily life of Lutris the sea otter and her pup. The illustrations are absolutely stunning and even though its pretty short it's still very educational. Definitely think this book is great for kids! Thank you to netgalley for the arc of this book! This story follows the daily life of Lutris the sea otter and her pup. The illustrations are absolutely stunning and even though its pretty short it's still very educational. Definitely think this book is great for kids!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Andersen

    This is an educational children’s book about the life of a sea otter and how he lives in his ecosystem under the sea. The beautiful and engaging illustrations paint the picture of his daily activities. I find it fascinating how the sea otter’s body is designed to aid in his survival in a challenging environment. I enjoyed reading this children’s book and I think many children would find this information fun to learn. It could easily be adapted to a scientific learning module in an upper elementa This is an educational children’s book about the life of a sea otter and how he lives in his ecosystem under the sea. The beautiful and engaging illustrations paint the picture of his daily activities. I find it fascinating how the sea otter’s body is designed to aid in his survival in a challenging environment. I enjoyed reading this children’s book and I think many children would find this information fun to learn. It could easily be adapted to a scientific learning module in an upper elementary classroom to aid in the understanding sea life. Additionally, I also appreciated the glossary and references at the end of the book to facilitate further learning. I want to thank Author Laurence Pringle, Illustrator Kate Garchinsky, Astra Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this Advanced Reader’s Copy. This is a voluntary review, and all comments and opinions are entirely my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Visually very pleasant, this looks at the sea otter – well, one in particular, and her newborn, in a semi-fictionalised manner. It's an easy way to see her day-to-day life, of napping, grooming, fishing and eating, and then nursing the baby. There is a denser chunk of text later on for the educators amongst you, but the three or four gentle paragraphs per page, and the lovely artwork, make this an appealing lesson. The fifth of this series to feature both creators (an earlier one had a different Visually very pleasant, this looks at the sea otter – well, one in particular, and her newborn, in a semi-fictionalised manner. It's an easy way to see her day-to-day life, of napping, grooming, fishing and eating, and then nursing the baby. There is a denser chunk of text later on for the educators amongst you, but the three or four gentle paragraphs per page, and the lovely artwork, make this an appealing lesson. The fifth of this series to feature both creators (an earlier one had a different artist), this suggests the other visits to the worlds of similarly slightly random critters would be quite enjoyable, too.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Baker

    What a cute and informative book about otters. My 2 year old loved the content and the illustrations were so cute! The pages were not overwhelming with text, but it was very informative and would be perfect for a unit on sea animals :) Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is a wonderful book following the life of a sea otter in the Pacific. I love how it is educational while telling a universal story about the animal in a way that is very engaging. The illustrations are full-page and gorgeous. It's definitely a good story for kids who are interested in learning about animals! Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy. This is a wonderful book following the life of a sea otter in the Pacific. I love how it is educational while telling a universal story about the animal in a way that is very engaging. The illustrations are full-page and gorgeous. It's definitely a good story for kids who are interested in learning about animals! Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    BOYDS MILLS PRESS, 2022 Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers From cover to cover, line to line, and otter to otter, THE SECRET LIFE OF A SEA OTTER is a nonfiction picture book that assures many new fans for this species, ENHYDRIS LUTRIS. Using a hypothetical female sea otter named LUTRIS, a nod to the species name, author Laurence Pringle and illustrator Kate Garchinsky create a magical, informative, alluring "year-in-the-life" portrait of sea otters in THE SECRET LIFE OF A SEA OTTER. Nonfictio BOYDS MILLS PRESS, 2022 Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers From cover to cover, line to line, and otter to otter, THE SECRET LIFE OF A SEA OTTER is a nonfiction picture book that assures many new fans for this species, ENHYDRIS LUTRIS. Using a hypothetical female sea otter named LUTRIS, a nod to the species name, author Laurence Pringle and illustrator Kate Garchinsky create a magical, informative, alluring "year-in-the-life" portrait of sea otters in THE SECRET LIFE OF A SEA OTTER. Nonfiction picture books have firmly established their place on shelves as literature, quite unlike the experences reported by elders who sought information about the world by reading volumes of encyclopedia. In fact, the narrative in this selection is prose but reads with the flow, pacing, and entertainment power of imaginative and poetic fiction. I took great pleasure in following little "Lutris" from the opening spread in which she takes a midday float/nap, gently rocked on ocean waves with her colony, held in place by a wrap of anchored kelp, and covering her eyes with her front paws to shut out overhead sunlight. You can immediately identify extensive facts that float with her on that page- about habitat, habits, protective adaptation, and more that I did not mention. In fewer than forty words, enhanced by accurately detailed and appealingly drawn illustrations of the otter and her ocean. each page turn reveals more about the coastal habitat and the environment she shares with other living things. Text incorporates age-appropriate terms that are italicized to indicate further information will be found in a glossary at the back. Questions will arise naturally in the mind of young readers and are anticipated within the straightforward and minimal text, again with those adorable but accurate images. How can she survive the cold waters? Doesn't her fur get soaked and drag her down? Why do her rear paws look so different from the front ones? Does she eat that kelp? Can she breathe under water? How can she see underwater? Does anything try to eat HER? How do otters learn to DO all those things? Does she "talk" to the other otters? Are otters like whales and dolphins? or different? In what ways? And, oh, my, what happens to baby otters? How can they survive? That last question is answered in the most incredibly complex touching ways, we learn, many of which will remind readers of how the youngest human infants survive and grow and learn. We first meet Lutris when she is young female, living within a colony. We leave the book about a year later, depicted in the few pages of an evocative and lovingly realistic picture book.By then Lutris's own offspring is five months old and prepared to begin to live on its own. By that time the audience, young or old, will have also acquired a great deal of learning about (and affection for) sea otter life. Two pages of expanded expository text provide immediate and more detailed answers to those who are eager for more information, followed by a simple glossary and a few suggested books. In the main text the author has included a well-curated selection of essential and intriguing facts about this endangered species, one relatively less known among North American animals. For each fact threaded through the compelling nonfiction narrative there were certainly dozens of other factual tidbits that hit the cutting room floor. The same is true for the denser back matter in which selected content suits a young and slightly oder reader well. This allows readers to satisfy their curiosity with enough information to pursue whatever level of further reading is desired.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eunice R

    The story of Lutris and her pup is cute and informative. I believe this Califonian Sea Otter is such an amazing creature to introduce to any child, to learn of its ways in its natural habitat: how it feeds, grooms itself; how it sleeps and keeps itself afloat, and how it cares for its young. Learning that sea otters are "keepers of the kelp" was a very interesting point to me and that because of sea otters going to near extinction, the effects that had on its environment and the kelp. Books like The story of Lutris and her pup is cute and informative. I believe this Califonian Sea Otter is such an amazing creature to introduce to any child, to learn of its ways in its natural habitat: how it feeds, grooms itself; how it sleeps and keeps itself afloat, and how it cares for its young. Learning that sea otters are "keepers of the kelp" was a very interesting point to me and that because of sea otters going to near extinction, the effects that had on its environment and the kelp. Books like this one are great for helping children to be more aware of nature and to be its carers as well. Oh, if children read this book they will be able to find out what a group of sea otters is called. I'd say that the illustrator has done an excellent job complimenting the story line, appearing to replica more actual hatitat topography as any scientifically inclined book for young readers should. The book ends with interesting facts, a glossary, and a short list of books for further reading about sea otters should any reader be so inspired to additional knowledge of this species. All in all, this book offers a good learning experience and opportunity for young children. ~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~ March 2022 Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Bell

    If you want a vividly illustrated children's book to teach you about otters, look no further. This story by Laurence Pringle follows a Southern sea otter, Lutris, and her pup as they eat, groom, play, and escape threats. I thought it was very educational, in the best way. There is a lot of information, but not too much to overpower each page. Some words are quite big for young children, like undulating, but there is a glossary in the back that is very helpful for them to learn more. The drawings If you want a vividly illustrated children's book to teach you about otters, look no further. This story by Laurence Pringle follows a Southern sea otter, Lutris, and her pup as they eat, groom, play, and escape threats. I thought it was very educational, in the best way. There is a lot of information, but not too much to overpower each page. Some words are quite big for young children, like undulating, but there is a glossary in the back that is very helpful for them to learn more. The drawings throughout the book are realistic and whimsical at the same time, with great use of color to portray their watery habitat. My 19-month-old is a bit young for this book now, despite her love of the pictures, but I would definitely read it to her in a few years. Any child with an interest in animals or science should enjoy this book. The "More About Sea Otters" information at the end was very interesting to read and included a lot of facts that elaborated more on what was touched on in the story. This section seems to be more geared toward adults or older children, but I think it could be a great conversation starter to talk more about otters with your child. I think it is a cute nod to otters' scientific name to name the main character Lutris. Overall, this was an enjoyable book that I would purchase once available. I received this as an ARC through NetGalley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I received this book for free from NetGalley and Astra Publishing House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Ever since seeing the Disney movie Finding Dory I’ve been obsessed with Sea Otters. They’re so cute! I wyas excited to see “The Secret Life of the Sea Otter” by Laurence Pringle on NetGalley. I read it on my iPad but I think it would be better in print. The illustrations were nice in the digital form but I think will be I received this book for free from NetGalley and Astra Publishing House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Ever since seeing the Disney movie Finding Dory I’ve been obsessed with Sea Otters. They’re so cute! I wyas excited to see “The Secret Life of the Sea Otter” by Laurence Pringle on NetGalley. I read it on my iPad but I think it would be better in print. The illustrations were nice in the digital form but I think will be gorgeous in the print version. One slight concern I have related to this though is the readability of the text. The story explores the daily life of Lutris and her baby. I felt like there some good educational content in there but the “storyline” felt a little choppy to me. At the end of the book there was more information about Sea Otters as well as a glossary of terms. I liked the glossary. I don’t think that the “additional information” added much to the book though to be honest. I’m not sure exactly what the suggested age range is for the book but the extra info was too advanced. I would rather the author have included more kid friendly resources. All in all, I think the illustrations included in the book will be gorgeous but I’m not sure about the text content. Im a little disappointed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Psusan

    The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a look at a female otter for one important year by Laurence Pringle. The illustrations are calming, relaxing and dreamy in the most lovely way. The text is full of information concerning otters in general using Lutris as the example. My first grade granddaughter read this book with me. The text was not overly complicated but she still needed help on some of the words. Perhaps more of a second grade level for independent reading. This is the kind of book that b The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a look at a female otter for one important year by Laurence Pringle. The illustrations are calming, relaxing and dreamy in the most lovely way. The text is full of information concerning otters in general using Lutris as the example. My first grade granddaughter read this book with me. The text was not overly complicated but she still needed help on some of the words. Perhaps more of a second grade level for independent reading. This is the kind of book that begs to be read again and again. Also if you were not in love with otters before reading this book you will be afterwards. The only thing we wish had been added was some photos of otters in the concluding information page of the book. Our digital copy did not include any but perhaps the paper copy does. The publisher through Net Galley provided a digital ARC. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giving my personal opinions and thoughts.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meg (thyme.for.books)

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Astra Publishing House! The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a beautifully illustrated book full of fun and interesting otter facts. It follows the life of a sea otter named Lutris, who lives off the coast of California. It describes her daily life in the kelp forest habitat and some of the other local animals she encounters. Along with the story of Lutris the author has i I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Astra Publishing House! The Secret Life of the Sea Otter is a beautifully illustrated book full of fun and interesting otter facts. It follows the life of a sea otter named Lutris, who lives off the coast of California. It describes her daily life in the kelp forest habitat and some of the other local animals she encounters. Along with the story of Lutris the author has included a glossary of important terms and some further reading. I appreciate the list of extra books as my children love otters and books about them can be hard to find. While this is written for younger children, I think readers of all ages can appreciate the information and the lovely illustrations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Char (lunarchar_)

    ARC|GIFTED|AD|NETGALLEY. Really enjoyed this! I love otters and know a lot about them but I still found this fascinating. I really like how it was factual and educational but also presented as a story, making it a great way to educate kids. I also like the last pages ‘more about sea otters’ and the ‘glossary’ that provide more details and widen the age range this is suitable for - even I, an adult, learnt things and enjoyed it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hill

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a sea otter? Laurence Pringle walks you through the daily activities, grooming, dangers, and more that the sea otter faces. This book is great for kids who are interested in sea life, and also for the avid reader who wants to get their feet wet and learn a bit more - this book gives you the best information, without making you feel rushed or out of your depth. Fabulous and informative!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This was such a cute book! It's the perfect book for young readers! It gives them information while making it interesting, and the illustrations are adorable. This is great to introduce children to reading! My rating: 5/5 stars Thank you to Astra Books for sending me a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. This was such a cute book! It's the perfect book for young readers! It gives them information while making it interesting, and the illustrations are adorable. This is great to introduce children to reading! My rating: 5/5 stars Thank you to Astra Books for sending me a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nici

    Did you know that sea otters have the densest fur of all mammels? Lutris the sea otter lives in the ocean together with her pup. In this fascinating little book we learn about their food, their fur, their relationsships and more! The illustrations are lovely. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    A narrative nonfiction story about one particular sea otter, readers will love learning some facts about these creatures. Lots of additional information, including conservation understandings, in the backmatter.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Some new things to learn about otters who live far away from us, what they do daily, how they survive the ocean world, what they do when their pups are born, and the danger of that vast sea for them. Eye-opening and informative, this is a good book for those who want to know more about otters.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    Lovely illustrations along with a narrative text help young readers get to know these animals better. The book includes a glossary, an author’s note with more information about these creatures, and a brief list of other books to help with further research.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cheyenne

    This is a beautifully illustrated book with lots of great information.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Sowell

    Received as part of a Goodreads giveaway. I loved the artwork and will be gifting it to a friend's daughter. Received as part of a Goodreads giveaway. I loved the artwork and will be gifting it to a friend's daughter.

  23. 4 out of 5

    April Oharah Hernandez

    Cute story with lots of facts. The illustrations are beautiful. Great title to have on hand for summer reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ainun Zahra

    The illustrations are so beautiful and realistic! We follow Lutris and her journey as she goes on to become a mother. We slowly learn about their food habits, different types, dwelling places, the way pups grow up and the physical changes that occur, the dangers they face, their lifestyles and so on. It was a very informative and delightful read. It contains lots of information that would satisfy anyone's curiosity about sea otters, adults included. The 'More about Sea Otters" part might be a bi The illustrations are so beautiful and realistic! We follow Lutris and her journey as she goes on to become a mother. We slowly learn about their food habits, different types, dwelling places, the way pups grow up and the physical changes that occur, the dangers they face, their lifestyles and so on. It was a very informative and delightful read. It contains lots of information that would satisfy anyone's curiosity about sea otters, adults included. The 'More about Sea Otters" part might be a bit hard for young readers but it is no big deal as that part isn't directly connected to the story and can be skipped until the reader is mature enough. Recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Noonan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  27. 5 out of 5

    CMH

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cerrig

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

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