About the Author:
Tomi Ungerer is one of the world's most famous and best-loved children's authors. An illustrator, writer, designer, toy-collector and archivist of human absurdity, his work spans storybooks, poster designs, political campaigns and film. He is a recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen prize for illustration, and the Musee Tomi Ungerer, devoted exclusively to his work, opened in Strasbourg in 2007.
From School Library Journal:
Gr 1-4-A teddy bear recounts his creation in Germany before World War II, his arrival as a birthday present for a young Jewish boy, and his time with David and David's friend, Oskar. When authorities force David to wear a yellow star and transport him and others away, Otto stays behind with Oskar. An African-American G.I. finds the bear after a bomb blast, a bullet hits them both, and because the bear absorbs the brunt of the blast, he saves the soldier's life. Otto becomes the playmate of the soldier's daughter until he is mauled by street boys, lands in a garbage pail, and eventually in an antique shop. From there the story takes an even more surprising and satisfying twist as Otto is reunited with his childhood friends. Ungerer's large watercolors become dark and shadow-filled as the Jews are taken away, people hide in bomb shelters, and bombs explode in the city. In a particularly realistic spread, one soldier lies slumped over a tank in the distance while, in the foreground, readers see a prostrate soldier clutching his bleeding chest, another one trapped under rubble, and a bodiless outstretched arm. While the book touches on some difficult subjects, the story is told from the point of view of the bear, which makes discussion a bit easier for younger children. Otto appears scarred and battle-worn on the cover but is a survivor nonetheless, and his telling is matter-of-fact and unsentimental. A poignant and uplifting story.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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