Children's LiteratureWhether it is the giant octopus in Jules Verne novels or legends like the Norwegian kracken, a squid that can sink boats and drown sailors, cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish) have frightenedor fascinatedhumankind over the centuries. This book, part of the "Scary Creatures" series, tells the young reader all he/she may want to know about these amazing, intelligent ocean dwellers. Colorful illustrations and photographs plus attractive format combine to explain cephalopod physiology, how it hunts and avoids being preyed upon, how they swim, reproduce and generally navigate the world's oceans. The simply written text is complimented by "Did you know?" factoids scattered throughout, an index of words printed in bold face in the text, and a page full of concise cephalopod facts. The book is well written and generally well done, however it does not contain a bibliography which is always helpful. The book also contains some "X-ray vision" illustrations that, held up to the light, are supposed to show the insides of an octopus and a squid. After holding them up to a window, a lamp and bare light bulb, I have to say the x-ray pages do not work; these would be frustrating to a young reader, who would be better off turning the page and looking at the other side. Calling a creature "scary" is forcing human values onto the natural world, and generally sets my teeth on edge. My advice? Lose the x-ray claim, change the series title and you have a fine book. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 8 to 12.