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Meet the Author: Linda Hansen shares her journey publishing "Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise"

Linda Hansen's Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise is a heartwarming true story about a North American river otter who visits a pond every year for seven years. The story takes an exciting turn when Otto brings two pups to the pond and is revealed to be a female otter named Opal. The book details Opal's journey as she nurses and trains her pups to swim and eat, enchanting both children and parents alike with its sweet, educational storyline and beautiful watercolor illustrations.


Meet the Author: Linda Hansen shares her journey publishing "Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise"

Hansen hopes that children and readers will learn about animals and nature through her story, which also meets STEM requirements. She wants parents and children to enjoy the book's illustrations, which she painted herself, and to appreciate the story's educational value.


The inspiration for Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise came from Hansen's own experience as one of "the people in the grey house" who watched Opal and her pups every day for five months. The story is based on the true events that Hansen and her husband witnessed firsthand, making it a unique and special read.


While the hardest part of Hansen's journey was learning the details of self-publishing and marketing, the most inspiring part was when the finished books were delivered to her home. She couldn't believe how beautiful the book was and was proud of her accomplishment.


Meet the Author: Linda Hansen shares her journey publishing "Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise"

Hansen's husband was a great support throughout her journey, and she was also encouraged by her friend/neighbor who pushed her to write the story, and her watercolor teacher, who provided her with support and encouragement.


One excerpt from the book reads, "The people worry about Otto if they don't see him for a long time. Once, he stayed away all winter and finally showed up again in the spring—with a very big surprise: Otto turned out to NOT be Otto!"


Overall, Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise is a charming and educational read that will delight both children and adults. With its true story and beautiful illustrations, it is sure to become a favorite in any household.


Meet the Author: Linda Hansen shares her journey publishing "Otto the Otter, A Big Surprise"

LINDA HANSEN Author Biography


Linda Hansen loves combining art and nature. After retiring from her career as the Executive Director of a non-profit, she has finally found the time to follow her creative passions. She works in watercolor and is both the author and illustrator of this creative children’s book.


Linda grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and lives in Florida with her husband and two dogs—very close to the small pond where this true story takes place.




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