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Elliott the Otter

The Totally Untrue Story of Elliott, Boss of the Bay

8-1/4 x 8-1/4; $16.99

32 pages

ISBN: 9781570619526

Elliott the Otter lives in Elliott Bay and claims that it’s named after him. And why wouldn’t it be, since he’s in charge of its daily activity? From the freighters bringing in cargo from around the world to the salmon passing through on their way upstream, Elliott is the boss of it all. Young readers will delight in Elliott’s antics as they learn about the bustling bay in Seattle’s Puget Sound.

John Skewes is a professional illustrator living in Seattle. He began work as a product designer and character artist for Disney Consumer Products before leaving to start his own company, Retrodyne Industries, in 2001. As the creator and illustrator of the award-winning Larry Gets Lost children’s book series, John has followed Larry from the southern tip of Texas to tiny Nome, Alaska, and has been lost several times himself. He has illustrated over twenty children’s books.

Eric Ode is a national award-winning children’s singer, songwriter, and the author of Sea Star Wishes. He lives in Bonney Lake, WA.

This is the (totally untrue) story of Elliott the Otter, commander-in-chief of the busy Elliott Bay. He compares himself to the diminutive tugboat who is "not very big, but has big responsibilities." He goes on to tell all about the activity in the Bay from barges, freighters, cranes, orcas, salmon, and locks. Elliott has many duties and in the end, readers find out his most important job of all. . . The vibrant, larger-than-life illustrations of the boats dwarf Elliott the Otter, endearing this tiny boss to readers. Skewes’s artwork uses sharp lines and angular shapes with bright pops of color, in the style of animated cartoons. Readers will come away understanding that even small folk can have big, important jobs to do. VERDICT Though the takeaway is typical of many picture book stories, the energetic cartoon art and harbor scenes will appeal to youngsters.
—School Library Journal 

The latest book from Greenwood’s John Skewes, writer/illustrator of the beloved Larry Gets Lost series, follows Elliott, a busy little otter who is pretty sure he’s the one who runs the show in the bay that shares his name. Elliott’s many important jobs include everything from ushering the container ships through the port to playing traffic cop for the salmon as they stampede through the locks. Skewes teams up with Sumner-based children’s poet and songwriter Eric Ode to tell a story that introduces kids to our busy working port. 
—Seattle magazine

Elliott, like the tugboats that ply the bay, "might not be very big, but he has big responsibilities." He has barges to signal, orcas to greet and salmon to direct before it's finally time to light up Seattle's skyline. Both residents and tourists will learn a little about daily activities out on the water in this colorful picture book.
—Seattle Times

Elliott the Otter is another perfect blend of fact and fiction. . . . In a simple way and through a lovable character, kids (and adults) learn about the inner workings of a harbor, and if those kids and adults happen to live in Seattle like us, then they’re better able to connect to the city and understand what makes it tick. Besides learning about cargo, barges, and freighters, Elliott teaches us about orca pods, salmon navigation, and the transition from fresh water to salt water. Such important information presented in an easy to understand format. The illustrations are playful, yet realistic. Playful and exaggerated enough to grab the attention of the reader, but also realistic enough so that the reader will recognize and associate the images with the real life version.
—Wild Tales Of

. . . gives kids a close look at life in Elliott Bay. From tugboats to orcas, Elliot the Otter explains all. He also describes what fish ladders are and why they are so important to salmon.
—Teaching My Baby to Read