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This is a cute kids story. My daughter enjoyed the audio, but I think she would have enjoyed it more with audio and pictures. It was missing the beautiful illustration you get from reading a children's book. And felt like you were missing something.
Mike Whitworth’s cute children’s story is targeted at kids aged two to eight. It is the first in a series of books, this one aimed at teaching children the importance of being organised.
Narrator Anna Valencia is exceptional, providing a plethora of character voices that are so distinct that it sounds like a full-cast production. Although this short children’s tale runs for only 4 mins, the incredible character work by Valencia makes it feel like so much more.
Whitworth’s simplistic tale centres around young owl, Ootoot, who loses his truck. His wise owl parents, Oot Ma and Oot Pa help him think through all the possibilities, including his truck being borrowed by animal friends. The jokes are corny… dad jokes, even, as they consider how a mouse, squirrel, groundhog, fox, lamb, ducks and cows may have used his truck. Despite the groan-worthy humour, young kids will delight in the dialogue and Valencia’s voicework.
Ultimately, young Ootoot learns that everything has its place and being organised makes things easier to find. The lesson is learnt suddenly and without much introduction, which is perhaps the only fault in Whitworth’s engaging storytelling. It’s a segue from the main thrust of the narrative that seems to be tacked on rather than a natural progression of the tale. Parents may need to clarify the sudden twist and how Ootoot came to that conclusion.
With such charming characters, the younger members of the target audience will undoubtedly love this audiobook, with the older age range loving it just as much but with questions to be answered. Children’s books are all about parent-child engagement however, and it would not surprise me if this has been a deliberate ploy by Whitworth to encourage such dialogue.
If this first tale is anything to go by, future stories of Ootoot's Learning Adventure Series promise to be something to look out for. With Valencia’s narration, it’s fresh, amusing and quirky.