When Otis Courted Mama


When Otis Courted Mama written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Jill McElmurry (2015)

Cardell is not happy that Mama has a new beau. He likes his life just the way it is. He and Mama live on one side of the desert. And Daddy lives on the other side of the desert with his step mama Lulu and his stepbrother Little Frankie. Daddy makes the best flapjacks. He zig-zags across the burning sand. And he’s teaching Cardell how to howl at the moon. Otis was perfectly happy. His life was just wonderful… until Otis moved in next door. Otis was not at all like his perfectly good daddy. However, Otis did make a mighty tasty prickly pear pudding. He was a terrific pouncer. He told the funniest stories around the campfire. Little by little, Cardell warmed up to Otis. Then one day, Otis asked Mama to marry him. And she said, yes… And Otis didn’t mind. He was perfectly happy with the new arrangement.


Explore the desert with some fun arts and crafts.

Try your hand at a coyote too.

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