The Otter Spirit©
A Natural History Story
Timeless Educational Creative-Non-Fiction for Adolescents through Adults
Hardcover, 184 pages. Index & References.
on the life journey of a North American River Otter. Reflect on her
philosophical introspection of the natural world and its connection to
Native American spirituality. Listen
to the ancient voices and realize the sacred gifts that Nature has to
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
Green Book Festival Award
Eric Hoffer Award
"A riveting story that blends researched facts, interpretive
photographs and illustrations, descriptive poems, Native American
folklore, firsthand observations and personal narration—a blend that
elevates this natural history to a class of its own. Its sensitivity to
Nature carries the spirituality well. I feel as if I'm in a cathedral -
sanctity and awe are created by Judy's words. Blending Nature, research,
and the Otter Spirit as one is a complex task to capture and simplify -
and Judy pulled it off."
Gravelle, Ph.D., Publisher, Editor, Educator
It has been my pleasure to read The Otter Spirit and become enlightened concerning so many of the animals that have been a part of my environment from my youth.
The Otter Spirit provides smooth and easy reading. The book is a paradox to some degree because it contains substantial information about the habits of various animals, but maintains a healthy distance from the scientific vocabulary that could easily slow down its delivery. Senses are certainly stirred in the descriptions of the Rocky Mountain seasons and their effect on the otter family, as well as a variety of other high country flora and fauna. Flowing through the seasons, as the story does, also provides that necessary feeling of the passage of time equating to endless. The paradox of seasons coming and going no matter what man or beast may do is essential to the impression that we are both subject to their control. Tying together the North American mammals with ancient forefathers and those that are living in other lands today is a valuable method of describing
Nature that is particularly beneficial and that the reader will learn from.
Renny Rapier, Writer and
wonderful job describing the natural history of the North American River
Otter in an informative and entertaining story. Vivid and alive
characterization of otters, their biology, their habitat, and their
behavior paint clear images that take the reader into the field. Family relations, interactions with
other wildlife, clear descriptions of the change in seasons, and the
link to Native American folklore all contribute to a rich and
interesting story. The poems, illustrations, and photos all add
valuable dimensions to the book."
Salzer, The Nature Conservancy
"Researcher Berg's love of wildlife and nature leads her to
contribute information that will inspire others to care about and want to
preserve the otter species. Along the way we learn surprising and
interesting facts that go beyond the basics of where otters live, how and
what they eat, [and] their anatomy. Berg's immersion in the otter
environment is so total she at times becomes one with her 'Special One' -
able to dream the same dreams, feel what he feels, and see what he sees. The
Otter Spirit is a unique and lyrical interplay of observations and
imaginations. But the imaginations are anchored in education."
Kathye Fetsko Petrie, The US Review
"The text is much deeper than what the cover portrays. [Unlike many]
writers who start a book with something mundane, the first three
paragraphs are beautifully and poetically written. I love the idea of
merging two journeys - the physical one with Nature and tracking the
otters - with the spiritual one, which involves the communing with Nature
that Native Americans cherish. The book has a sense of completion to it
[by tying together] the medicine woman's appearance at the beginning and
end of the book."
"The Otter Spirit will entertain you with facts and fun relating to
the playful spirit of a serious wildlife researcher's adventures in the
wilds. Berg's original poetry sprinkled throughout the book distills
Nature's cycles into an essence of life's personal and universal journeys.
The Otter Spirit opens pathways to our own explorations within ourselves
Meredith McPherson, Artist
"Appreciation for this sacred earth, from being out exposed to Nature, shows in every line."
"This story hit a spot in my heart. You have such
wonderful insight into Native American cultures."
Crowe, Elder of the Lakota Nation
"[Judy] has generously shared
her scientific findings and her personal observations with us. What a
fun way to become educated! I admire Judy’s stamina, (how many of
us would be hardy enough to endure winter in the
Rockies?) and her willingness to share her totem animal experiences."
Animal Totem Artist
The Otter Spirit was a vivid
experience. Yours is a story a reader doesn’t want to end. You tuned in
beautifully to my visual and kinesthetic senses. You teach in a most
gentle manner. Thank you for the gift of your book, for this fine creation
you have made with your life. We are blessed."
"Judy is generous in sharing her valuable research
about otters and their observed behaviors along the Colorado River."
Jim Capps, Colorado River District Interpreter
Rocky Mountain National Park
a beautiful book, one of inspiration and education. Thank you."
Willamette Resources and Education Network
"Congratulations on The Otter Spirit. What an
inspiration to us all."
Chieffo, The McKenzie River Trust
"The Otter Spirit opened my eyes to the wonders of Mother Nature's
world. A classy and professionally written book, which entertains as well
David Galfond, Writer