Jealously of a sibling is definitely something my kids can relate to. That’s why I was excited to get a copy of the new picture book OTTO GROWS DOWN by Michael Sussman. I wasn’t disappointed.
In Otto Grows Down, Otto’s little sister, Anna, spoils everything—by being born. When Otto makes a birthday wish that Anna was never born, strange things start to happen. Otto’s life switches into reverse! Everything goes backwards starting with Otto giving his birthday presents back to his friends, to a strange day at school, bringing in the trash, and to Otto’s joy, returning Anna to the hospital.
Otto soon realizes that all is not bliss. He keeps growing down. Plus he feels a little guilty for making his baby sister disappear. What's a boy to do when he’s only got five birthday wishes to try to get things back to normal, and fewer and fewer words to make wishes?
My entire family has had great laughs with Otto Grows Down. There are all sorts of funny backwards happenings to get a kick out of, one that may be a bit shocking or totally hilarious depending on your sense of humor. Otto Grows Down has opened up many discussions with my little ones as they imagine what it might be like to live life backwards and wonder what would happen if Otto didn’t figure out how to fix his wish. It’s also caused them to talk about jealousy and being kind to one another, which is always a good thing.
Otto Grows Down is the best book on sibling rivalry that I’ve read in a long time. Scott Magoon’s illustrations add the right amount of humor to the story. The dark pages set the mood and let readers know that something isn’t quite right. And when the love finally comes into the story, you can feel it.
I liked Otto Grows Down so much that I asked author Michael Sussman if he would grant me an interview. Not only was he kind enough to say yes, he’s also going to give away a signed copy of Otto Grows Down! Come back Thursday, April 2nd to read some great insights from Michael and enter to win a copy Otto Grows Down.
Otto Grows Down is published by Sterling Publishing.