Celebrity otter immort­alized in children’s book


It looks like “Sutro Sam,” the young river otter who captured our hearts last fall, has moved from his home at Sutro Baths, presumably to do what all young and plucky male otters must do: Find a lady otter friend.

(He even tells us so on his Twitter page.)

For those brokenhearted over Sutro Sam’s unceremonious departure, a new children’s book will help ensure the river otter — the first spotted in San Francisco in decades — will continue to live on.

Released earlier this week, the e-book entitled “The Legend of Sutro Sam” is penned by Richmond resident Emily Beitiks. It provides a colorful back story of how Sutro Sam’s time at Sutro Baths came to be.

In reality, no one knows how the young river otter chose his home. The mystery intrigued Beitiks, who wrote on her blog:

“It’s believed he swam from Marin, which seems like such a long and interesting journey for a young river otter. When I thought about the stories my mom used to tell me about how fantastic the old bathhouse was, it was easy to imagine what would motivate Sam to swim all the way to San Francisco.”

This inspired her 24-page book, where Sutro Sam begins his journey after hearing a bedtime story from his grandfather. With illustrations by San Francisco’s Pete Glanting, the story begins:

“Far away from here, beyond a great red bridge, is a glass palace on the ocean…”

Now that we know how Sutro Sam came into our lives, can we imagine his happy ending?

“The Legend of Sutro Sam” is available for download on an iPad or computer with iTunes for only $1.99.

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