ISBN-10: 1-930580-70-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-930580-70-1

Available wherever fine books are sold, or 
Purchase directly from Pine Orchard.

Wholesale distribution from Ingram and  Baker & Taylor.

Shop in Eugene at Tsunami Books, J. Michaels Books.

The Otter Spirit © Judith K. Berg.
Illustrations © Michael Reed.
Photographs by the Author.
Book and Cover Design by Matt Gravelle.
Published April, 2005 by 

an imprint of
Pine Orchard, Inc.

Printed with soy ink on 100% recycled
post-consumer fiber, 
processed chlorine-free.


A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be used for the preservation of fresh water habitat.

The book, The Otter Spirit
    Author's Statement
    Preface to The Otter Spirit
    Sample Illustrations
The book, Weathered Wood
The book, Conversation with a Beaver
Art Gallery
About Judith K. Berg
External Links

The Otter Spirit©
A Natural History Story

Timeless Educational Creative-Non-Fiction for Adolescents through Adults
Hardcover, 184 pages. Index & References.


Follow wildlife researcher Judy Berg 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 offer.

  2005 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award

 2009 Green Book Festival Award

Runner-Up - Animals


        2010 Eric Hoffer Award

              Honorable Mention

              Legacy Non-Fiction



"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."

—Carolyn 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 Editor

"A 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."

 —Dan 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."

—Writers Digest


"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 and Nature." 

—Meredith McPherson, Artist


"Appreciation for this sacred earth, from being out exposed to Nature, shows in every line."

—Mark Andrew, Sculptor


"This story hit a spot in my heart. You have such wonderful insight into Native American cultures."

 —Wilma 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 Colorado Rockies?) and her willingness to share her totem animal experiences."

—Brooke Stone, Animal Totem Artist

"Reading 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."

 —Anne Summers, Journalist

"Judy is generous in sharing her valuable research about otters and their observed behaviors along the Colorado River."

—Jim Capps, Colorado River District Interpreter (Ret.)
Rocky Mountain National Park

"What a beautiful book, one of inspiration and education. Thank you." 

—Holly McRae, Willamette Resources and Education Network

"Congratulations on The Otter Spirit. What an inspiration to us all."

 —Sara 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 as educates."

—David Galfond, Writer




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