Otto and Pio

illus. by Marianne Dubuc. 68p. Princeton Architectural Pr. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781616897604.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—A family tale that teaches children how love makes a home. When Otto the squirrel finds a small furry creature named Pio, he shelters him while searching for Pio's origins. As the search goes on Otto comes to love his new hazelnut-eating, soup-making, caring child. Eventually Pio becomes too big for Otto's treetop house and Otto becomes upset and leaves, but Pio follows and helps Otto realize that they are a family and that maybe some big problems are not actually that big. Dubuc has created a simple and beautiful story that is perfectly matched with her intricate illustrations. The colors are soft and bright, giving readers a warm fuzzy feeling as they travel through the story. Each illustration reveals small details of Otto and Pio's individual personalities, but also their growing familial relationship. The entire book is clean and simple, not too difficult to follow, and explains an often-complex relationship in the best way possible. This engaging read-aloud will warm children's hearts. It has a terrific message about the importance of family and how to care for those you love.
VERDICT An excellent and timeless selection for all picture book shelves.

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