Otto and Pio by Marianne Dubuc

 Otto and Pio by Marianne Dubuc
Review Copy from 
There is something magical to me about forest stories, probably because of the deep impression left on me as a child by the picture book Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, illustrated by the inimitable Arnold Lobel. Of course, tree houses are pretty intriguing and unforgettable as well. Dubuc's Otto and Pio has that forest magic and a fantastic tree house that will linger in your memory long after you close the covers of this marvelous picture book. Dubuc's pencil and water color illustrations are warm and inviting and Pio is pretty much the cutest creature (to hatch from the coolest "egg") I have seen on the page in a while! 
Living in a very old forest in a very old tree, Otto the squirrel is surprised to find a strange green ball on the branch leading to his front door as he leaves his house one morning. It's still there when he returns, but he goes about his business - until a "very small, very round, and very furry" creature emerges from the ball, crying, "MOMMY!" 
Otto does his best to care for the creature, bringing him into his house for the night, while also searching high and low every day for the creature's mother. Each day, the creature, who goes by, "Pio," the only word he says, grows bigger, gradually outgrowing Otto's house (and his welcome). Each day, Otto searches farther and farther, with no luck. However, he does begin returning to delicious soup made by Pio and even, one day, a clean house with new yard decorations! Just when it seems like Pio has worn out his welcome, despite his attempts to contribute, he finds a way to show Otto his true worth when he rescues him from danger!

 More books by Marianne Dubuc!


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