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Home > Children's Books > The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood

cover of Otter, Spotted Frog & Great Flood
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The Otter, the Spotted Frog
& the Great Flood:
A Creek Indian Story
Retold by: Gerald Hausman
Illustrated by: Ramon Shiloh
Subject(s): Age level / Lexile:

Juvenile Fiction: Native American

4–8 / Lexile measure: 650L

Format: Size / page count:


8" × 9.5" / 36 pages

ISBN: Date available:


Available now




When Spotted Frog tells of a great flood that is about to destroy their homes, all of the animals ignore his warnings, except Listener the Otter. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener heeds Spotted Frog’s predictions and begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster. But will his efforts be enough?

This charming children’s book warns us to listen to the wisdom of nature and the environment. Based on a traditional story from the Creek Indians of northern Florida and Georgia, The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood is retold by award-winning author and storyteller Gerald Hausman, and is brought to life by the powerful images of Ramon Shiloh.

This universal tale is full of traditional Native American wisdom which seems even more farsighted in our own day and age, with the conditions of global warming and other environmental threats that confront us more and more.


  • Winner of the 2013 Midwest Book Award Gold Medal in the category “Illustration: Graphic”
  • Winner of the 2013 Midwest Book Award Silver Medal in the category “Total Book Design”
  • Winner of the 2013 Midwest Book Award Silver Medal in the category “Children’s Picture Books”
  • Winner of the 2013 ForeWord Review “Book of the Year” Bronze Medal Award in the category “Picture Books, Early Reader”

Videos Related to the Book (hide/show)

The Book Trailer Video for
The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood

Watch the video below to get a visual summary of the pages in the book.


  • Parents can download a 400KB file of a coloring page from this book. The full letter-size page features a standing Listener, the otter, along with his little guide, Spotted Frog. Click here for this file in jpg format in a new tab or window, which you can print out for your child's enjoyment, or right-click on the link for other options.

Reviews (hide/show)

“In this Creek flood story, the world is populated by ‘animal people’; the Noah figure is a river otter, eloquently named Listener, and the flood prophecy—as well as instructions for building a watertight raft, anchored to ‘the tallest water oak in the woods’—comes in the form of a song from bright-green Spotted Frog. In beautifully direct prose, Hausman evokes Listener’s diligence and the watery cataclysm he survives: ‘Far below the gloom, fish flew like silent birds through the sunken trees. Alligators and manatees swam through the silence of the deepening flood.’ The story’s second half, in which a lonely but patient Listener struggles to find companionship (he is eventually rewarded with both a mate and transformation into a human being) may test some younger readers’ patience, but Shiloh’s (Star Stories for Little Dreamers) illustrations, which have a hand-painted quality, should hold their attention. The pictures are woven into the story and range from folk art–like motifs to strikingly realistic portraiture, creating a sense of a Native American illuminated manuscript. Ages 4–8.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story is a respectful retelling of a traditional Creek origin tale from the Georgia Creek Indian ancestors of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. This stunning edition is enhanced by the artistry of star-studded portraits of Otter Woman and Listener, who become First Man and First Woman. This is a poetic origin tale, with a crucial role played by Spotted Frog, ‘who, as everyone knows, saved the world by singing.’ The animal characters in this tale show different sensitivities or abilities to listen to the voice of others and of Nature. The message of the tale seems enwrapped in an ability to hear and respond to the important messages of Mother Earth. The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood is a classic origin tale, majestically presented in this volume for children ages 4 and up.”
Children’s Bookwatch, a publication of Midwest Book Review
“Ramon is an amazing storyteller and his style of illustration really brings the pages to life.”
Chris Eyre, Director of Smoke Signals
“Shiloh’s images of Otter and other animals are so beautifully done and he keeps his illustrations so amazingly simple, you never get distracted from the story.”
Kathy Peltier (Daughter of Leonard Peltier)
“Hausman’s vivid storytelling combines masterfully with Shiloh’s stunning, colorful images to make this cautionary environmental tale compelling and enjoyable. It is highly recommended for families to read aloud.”

Michael Oren Fitzgerald, editor of Indian Spirit and Spirit of Indian Women

“Like the best traditional tales, this is a story that both entertains and contains meaningful teachings that can be interpreted on more than one level. It’s a celebration of life, of the power of spirit, and of the importance of listening to all of Creation—from the greatest voice to the most humble. It is also as beautifully designed and illustrated as it is told with luminous artwork by Ramon Shiloh.”
Joseph Bruchac, author of Our Stories Remember

“I enjoyed reading The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood, and admire the illustrations by Ramon Shiloh. Shiloh’s illustrations are quite original and engaging. I especially enjoyed his animals. Gerald Hausman tells the story with great verve, and some of the images are striking, e.g. ‘Far below in the gloom, fish flew like silent birds through the sunken trees. Alligators and manatees swam through the silence of the deepening flood.’ This is very powerful, poetic, and evocative language, and Shiloh’s illustrations bolster it well.”
Winfield Coleman, author and illustrator, and lecturer on ethnographic art (of American Indians)

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