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After a hard day at work, a friendly little tractor named Otis likes to wind down with a game of hide-and-seek with his barnyard friends. That group gets one member bigger the night a puppy comes to live at the farm. He's a happy little guy, licking and playing and sleeping up a storm. But he whimpers upon nightfall. So begins the puppy's habit of sleeping on Otis' seat. When a game of hide-and-seek goes awry and the puppy ends up lost in the woods shown as a page full of black behind the spooked pup Otis must use his headlights to scour the forest for his frightened friend. Plot isn't the point here Otis finds the puppy, and that's pretty much the end. What's more valuable is the softly delivered example of true friendship and how it means not giving up on a pal. In sepia-toned illustrations, Long depicts Otis as a surprisingly agile machine with Thomas the Tank Engine-style features and other anthropomorphized attributes (His heart ached deep inside his engine). Simple but moving.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 2-In this fourth installment about a big-eyed, hardworking tractor, it is spring, and there is a new puppy on the farm. After Otis rescues the whimpering pooch from the doghouse (and the dark) the first night, the two become fast friends. Painterly gouache and pencil illustrations have panoramic views, and stars and headlights shine through the dark of twilight and forest. And that is where the puppy gets lost one evening, after playing hide-and-seek. When the sun sets, and the search party gives up until dawn, Otis confronts his own fear of the dark and forges ahead amid spooky animal silhouettes and long shadows. As the two make their way home together, the night sounds are somehow no longer so frightening. Older readers will delight in Long's use of idioms, and younger children will appreciate the loyalty of a true friend and understand the terror, not of darkness, but of aloneness. Otis will win readers' hearts.-Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.