Otters vs Badgers

Otters vs Badgers
Anya Glazer
Oxford Children’s Books

Here’s a tale about difference and happily, divergent thinking; and it has a vital lesson for people of all ages, so long as they’re willing to learn from Otters and Badgers.

In this story, said creatures reside on opposite sides of the divide – a river – that they find impossible to share without resorting to pawicuffs over territorial rights. As a consequence to avoid further inflaming the situation, their two leaders decide that no badgers and no otters must EVER cross the river.

Now here’s where the divergent thinker comes in: she’s an otter and her name is Francie. A tad shy by nature, she’s the best baker of cakes anywhere along the river, so say her fellow otters anyhow. Certainly her cake creations are delectable and she loves to invent spectacular new treats too. One day while out hunting for the perfect ingredient for her next batch of baking, so wrapped up in her task is she that she strays into enemy territory.

She’s spotted so doing but fortunately her fast feet carry her out of harm’s way. However it’s not long before there’s a confrontation on otter territory with the badgers demanding to see the marauding otter. While the heated talks continue Francie is busy doing what she always does, emergency or not.

What will be the outcome of her labours now? Could it finally be time to call a truce?

In these increasingly troubled times of ours, it’s easy to draw parallels between this story and the real world. Drawing attention to the futility of conflict, Anya Glazer’s amusing telling in combination with her droll, delightfully detailed illustrations, show that compromise, finding what we have in common and learning to live peacefully side-by-side with others however different they may at first seem, is so much better that hostility.

Don’t miss the recipe for baking yummy chocolate chip cookies at the end of the story.

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