Otto Runs For President by Rosemary Wells

 I ventured through the rain last week to visit our local library in town. Yes, it does rain in California sometimes. So far we have received over 5 inches for the season. While I was in the children's section searching for the book on my library reading challenge list,  Max's Bath by Rosemary Wells, I soon realized it was already checked out. It must be a popular choice so I decided to do some research and find out more about Rosemary Wells. Are you familiar with her books?

About The Author:

* Award winning author- illustrator, creator of numerous books for children.
* Wrote My Shining Star and Read To Your Bunny
* Characters such as Max and Ruby
* Lives in Greenwhich, Connecticut


Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories..."

About The Book:

Rosemary Wells' OTTO RUNS FOR PRESIDENT tells of election time at Barkadelphia School, where popular Tiffany is running for president based on her beauty, Charles is running because he's a star athlete, and Otto has different plans. Can Otto really win against popularity? A fine treatise on voting emerges.

Product Details
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545037220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545037228

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—For a while it looks as though Otto doesn't stand a chance in the three-way race for president of Barkadelphia School. Tiffany's a cute and popular poodle who promises "More Mirrors in the Girls' Room!" And the platform of athletic bulldog Charles includes "Skateboards in the Halls!" Otto takes a different approach, though, and asks his canine classmates for their ideas to improve the school, such as healthy cafeteria foods and a homework help line. While the other two ramp up their rivalry with mudslinging, self-promotion, and parent-funded events, Otto's strategy of listening to everyone, "even the kindergartners," results in victory. Wells's skillful drawings highlight a host of appealing characters who are doglike in appearance, but clearly human in their actions. Individuals have distinct personalities. Most pages are neatly framed by borders decorated with paw prints, ballots, and other images related to the story. The author pokes gentle fun at election excesses to contrast her positive message of community and inclusiveness. Tiffany attracts other female poodles and Charles's all-male supporters all come from the bigger dog breeds, while Otto's good-hearted campaign reaches both genders and all types of dog. The satisfying conclusion demonstrates how a school election can lead to worthwhile change and be fun at the same time.—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

Warmest Regards,

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