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Otis and the Tornado Activities
Written and Illustrated By: Loren Long
Otis and all his farm friends are enjoying a summer's day, but the bull has no interest in playing and stays in his pen. Suddenly the day turns frightening and stormy: it's a tornado! Otis takes all of the animals to safety, but the bull is still locked in his pen! Quick as his tires will take him, Otis putt puff puttedy chuffs back to the farm to save the day.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: Philomel (September 22, 2009) ISBN-13: 978-039925477
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.2 Point Value: .5 Interest Level : LG
Website for Author:
from his website
(if this is less than you want to know, here’s
__Long's long bio__
Loren Long is the #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator of Watty Piper’s T
he Little Engine That Could
Mr. Peabody’s Apples
. Loren’s other New York Times best-selling books include:
by Randall DeSeve which was awarded the 2007 Publisher’s Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book.
by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, and the chapter book series
that he created with Phil Bildner.
His first picture book, Angela Johnson’s I Dream of Trains, won the SCBWI’s Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. His version of Walt Whitman’s
When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
was a Golden Kite Honor Book.
Loren co-wrote and illustated the Sluggers chapter book series about an 1800s baseball team. Recently, Loren has both written and illustrated two picture books,
and the New York Times Bestseller,
, about a friendly little tractor. In 2010, Loren illustrated President Barack Obama’s book,
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
. Loren lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and two sons. You can visit him at
Other Books Loren Long has written or illustrated:
COMMON CORE INFO: from the KSDE
Otis and the Tornado.docx
This placemat will download to your computer and then open it to view. For more info on Common Core from KSDE and to see other placemats for literature go to
Otis Activities from the Author:
Includes these activities: Coloring, Counting, Drawing, Maze, What’s Different, and Sounds
Author discusses Otis and the Tornado -
Shorter Version 2:51 mins
Longer Version 5:13 mins
You can get a plush Otis to have with your read along!
Castle Mere Books
Video of Tornado in Salina, KS
action of tornado is best at 2:22 mins
. You will see birds sucked into the tornado and a cow picked up briefly.
Reviews & Awards
(September 1, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 1))
Preschool-Grade 2. As he did with Otis (2009), Long delivers a story that hearkens to the golden age of picture books, with a style and tone that recall the work of Virginia Lee Burton and Munro Leaf. This time out, Otis the tractor is happily ensconced in the life of his farm, engaging his friends in games of follow the leader—after the daily chores are seen to, of course. Only the terrible bull resists Otis’ friendship, but when a tornado descends, and the bull is forgotten, Otis comes to his rescue. Long’s painterly gouache-and-pencil drawings, contained within hand-drawn black frames, teem with life, from Otis’ disposition to the bull’s fearsome presence, and Long understands the power of the page turn. The bull makes his appearance at the book’s first two-page spread, with formidable antagonism, and the arrival of the tornado is similarly dramatic. With its nostalgic charm, bold illustrations, large trim size, and lengthier narrative, this is a strong choice for sharing with older preschoolers on the brink of reading on their own.
Also on these Nomination Lists for this Next Year:
Colorado Children's Book Award Nominees 2013
Kentucky Bluegrass Book Award Nominees 2013: Grades K-2
Page Created by Judy Desetti, Chair of Bill Martin Jr Award, Lawrence, KS, July 2012
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