An Otis Christmas

Loren Long. Philomel, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16395-1
Otis the tractor returns in a grim holiday story with odd allusions to the Nativity story. A horse on the farm is set to give birth on Christmas Eve, but when a “big snow” makes the roads impassible, Otis must save the day after the horse is found ailing (“We need Doc Baker out here tonight or we’ll lose ’em both,” says the farmer). Long’s illustrations are typically heroic as Otis attempts a risky midnight drive, but adults and children alike may be perplexed by the glow emanating from the barn when the foal is born, the star marking on its forehead, and the news that “people from all around the valley came... to get a glimpse of the Christmas foal.” Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/16/2013
Release date: 10/22/2013
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