Sea Otter Awareness week is September 20-26. Why is Sea Otter Awareness Week important? Sea otters remain an endangered species, and to ensure that they get the protection they deserve people need to know about them.

One person who is very sea otter-aware is children’s author Karen Autio. When she was working on her latest book, Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink, she did a lot of research. The book is written from the perspective of a sea otter, so she had to understand their world. She researched what they eat, how they take care of their fur, what kind of dangers they face and what might happen to a sea otter that got hurt in the wild.

Karen learned a lot about sea otters, and lucky for us, she’ll share what she learned at an upcoming free virtual book talk All About Otters.

Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink is a novel for ages 7-9. In the book Kah-Lan is a young sea otter ready to leave the raft he grew up in. He sets off for adventure in an ocean filled with new sights and sounds and smells—among them humans and the sharp scent of fuel. Kah-Lan befriends two young male otters named Zid and Gula. The three friends weather a storm together, then head off in search of new hunting waters. But the storm brought new dangers, and Kah-Lan and his friends soon find themselves on a mysterious and dangerous journey. Along the way, Kah-Lan discovers that help can be found in surprising places.

Karen will be joined by Emma Pedersen, the illustrator of Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink. Emma had to do her own interesting research. She had to learn about sea otter anatomy so she could create illustrations of Kah-Lan and his friends. Emma will talk about what she learned, and she’ll teach us how to draw a sea otter.  

Karen Autio grew up horse-crazy and book-loving, and she fell in love with sea otters on a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium in the 1980s. Karen has given countless school presentations over the years, sharing the lessons she’s learned working on her novels.

Emma Pedersen is a graduate of the OCAD University drawing and painting program. Her playful style infuses character and story into each illustration.

All About Otters is for all ages and will include material that is geared toward children. Tickets to this event are free, but we do ask that you register ahead of time. Want a copy of Kah-Lan and the Stink-Ink? We’ll have it for sale in the Museum Shop soon.