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Walter the otter is the creation of Pavle Sabic, a Scottish-Croatian resident of Brooklyn, and Asian Illustrator of the Year (2018) Via Fang of Taiwan. The two have created a beautiful children’s book following the otter adventurer’s trek around the globe. It’s easy to see why Ms. Fang is an internationally renowned illustrator – the anthropomorphic world Walter inhabits is teeming with lovingly rendered creatures and jaw-dropping scenes. Aesthetics aside, there is a moral to this story. Some of these animals are very hostile to outsiders. In reaction, Walter hugs the grouches, his compassion and tolerance eliciting warmth and lasting bonds of friendship. Although reason suggests that hugging angry strangers is a bad idea, I suspended my cynicism and passed the book on to my 6-year-old son so he can enjoy it as much as I did.
The author and illustrator team have organized a daily book reading and color-along at the (free) Fringe for children, targeted at ages 4-8. In addition, they have a special guest – World Record holding sketch artist Van Gogh Find Yourself (Walter DeForest). Click here for info & tickets.