It’s easy to find joy in a playful, agile creature
that enjoys sliding on its belly. River otters are
among the most adorable, charismatic animals in
North America, and with a territory that spans the
continent, they’re a far-reaching favorite. Ollie’s First
Year is a lively wildlife adventure that captures the
wonder and delight elicited by the playful otter.
The book follows Ollie the Otter through a year
of new experiences, from swimming lessons to
foraging practice, and through capers with his
littermates. His budding knowledge of the world is
put to the test when he is separated from his family
and must travel through the forest alone. Luckily, a
joyful reunion with his family awaits.
Longtime children’s book author Jonathan London
and well-known Alaska illustrator Jon Van Zyle team
up again to bring Ollie’s story to life with vibrant
illustrations and text perfect for ages 2–6. Author
notes about otter biology and habitat along with
tips for keeping their environment safe will teach
younger readers about wildlife and inspire them to
The text by Jonathan London is gently educational about the life cycle of these beloved animals, showing it through the playful behavior of Ollie. He splashes his way in and out of the river and even gets briefly lost for a bit of drama.