"Although the story is fiction, the subjects in this story are well-researched. Children will be introduced to sea otters and
the true elements of their daily lives ... The illustrations by Sheena Lott are very cute and appealing,
and they pop up in just the right places throughout the story. Kah-Lan: The Adventurous Sea Otter provides
a great learning experience for readers. Readers who enjoy stories about wild animals living in their natural
environment will love this story!."
****/4 Highly Recommended.
Reviewed by Kaitlyn Vecchio in CM: Canadian Review of Materials, March 4, 2016.
A good review of Kah-Lan by Mavis Holder in Resource Links, February 2016: The reviewer was pleased to see
the information and resources regarding sea otters included and wrote, "this story will ring true as the
author has attempted to keep the animals' behaviour genuine and the hazards they face realistic."
Karyn Huenemann's review on There Will Be Books: February 4, 2016
"Kah-Lan opens with a lively description of two sea otter pups in a kelp forest, weaving and leaping through the kelp, nipping each other in play. The fluid motion of sea otters is captured perfectly; Kah-Lan and Yamka are real sea otters, with just enough anthropomorphism to satisfy young human readers.
… Presenting Kah-Lan’s choices as consistent with his sea-otter nature, Autio is able to create a narrative that is exciting, and an animal character that nonetheless replicates human children’s need for both belonging and individuation."
Read full review by Karyn Huenemann.
Hakai Magazine – Coastal Science and Societies November 25, 2015
Excerpts: "A standout among an excellent crop of books is Kah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter by Karen Autio, illustrated by Sheena Lott. This short chapter book was a lovely surprise. It’s a well-crafted adventure story about a sea otter pup called Kah-Lan and his raft (females and their pups). It’s perfect for older primary or younger intermediate readers. The many survival challenges this endangered species faces shape the tale—a shortage of food, treacherous currents, human encroachment, and hiding from their frightening yet powerful orca predators. Lott’s fluid black-and-white interior illustrations and the extra information about sea otters at the back of the book, make this an especially appealing and informative read.
Read full review by Sheryl McFarlane.
BC BookWorld October 14, 2015
Excerpts: "Dripping with ecological facts yet without a whiff of didacticism, Kah-Lan the Adventurous Sea Otter weaves the natural environment into the myriad challenges that otters contend with—from orcas and riptides to food scarcity and fishing net entanglement … Reminiscent of the invented words in Richard Adams’s Watership Down, the language in Kah-Lan is nonetheless easy for young readers to discern without a glossary—although there is one provided … Engaging text, quick pacing and illustrations by Sheena Lott put the reader at eye level with the demands of life in our shallow coastal waters, while present-tense narration lends a sense of urgency to the otters’ experiences. Targeted mainly for readers ages seven to twelve, Kah-Lan is a story with cross-generational appeal because it will lead to conversations about the health of our oceans, the necessity of maintaining biodiversity of the maritime environment and the importance of keystone species—such as the sea otter."
Read full review by Alex Van Tol.