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Otter Ecology Project | Little Otter Learns to Swim

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Loving and protecting our world’s nature and animal resources has always been something that is near-and-dear to our hearts here at Jump Into A Book.

When we think of otters, the words that oftentimes pop into our minds are things like “cute,” “playful,” “graceful,” or “mischievous.” But usually the word “endangered” doesn’t come to mind.  But, nationwide, river otters are experiencing a resurgence after over-trapping led to near extinction in some areas in the twentieth century. But it’s true and that fact needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

Otter Ecology Project | Little Otter Learns to Swim

In September, Ohio University Press published Little Otter Learns to Swim; a picture book for ages four and up.

Experienced picture book author Artie Knapp and renowned wildlife artist Guy Hobbs pay tribute to these North American mammals, showing children how otters play and survive in their natural habitat.

In this endearing and beautifully illustrated picture book, a baby river otter learns to swim, dive, and play in her natural habitat.

Encouraged by her mother, the little otter soon sets out to explore on her own, quickly learning to escape shoreline predators and to find her way back to the security of home.

“Sure to become a favorite for readers of all ages…Even better, in the end, there is a list of interesting facts about river otters to help you answer the many questions your youngster will undoubtedly ask. Little Otter Learns to Swim is the new must-have for your student’s bookshelf!” Sheila Cooper, board member, New Jersey Literacy Association

Both Knapp and Hobbs collaborated together to not only create an exceptional conservation-based picture book for kids, but the story is also followed by two pages of fun facts about river otters as well as information and resources from the River Otter Ecology Project.

River Otter Ecology Project

The River Otter Ecology Project researches and documents the status and ecology of local river otter populations; educates the public about their important role as apex carnivores in healthy watersheds; and networks with local organizations working on-the-ground to restore and protect their habitat.

One of their projects in an online sightings database where we document and share river otter observations (including photos/video). This allows them to begin documenting the range of the population, of which nothing is currently known. This data will also help them in a selection of sites to set up remote-camera observational points in various watersheds.

Something To Do

Give The River Otter Ecology Project a helping hand!

If you have sighted a river otter recently please let them know by going to their website,, click on the Otter Spotter icon, and fill in the easy online form.

Bring Your Own Otter to Life!

Thanks to this sweet craft idea from KidsandCreatures, kids can make their own curious otter!

What’s the Difference Between a Sea Otter and a River Otter? BeachChairScientist has the scoop.

river otter facts

Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together.

The Fox Diaries

From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come to watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit.

The Fox Diaries

It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, but there is also an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family. Grab your copy of this beautiful and inspiring book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble Nook.