Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always

Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always

by Tao Nyeu
     
 

An award-winning author presents a delightful picture book about friendship under the sea. For fans of Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat and Oliver Jeffers’ This Moose Belongs to Me.
 
The four tales in this charming picture book show funny moments in the life of best friends Squid and Octopus. Yes, they argue sometimes

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Overview

An award-winning author presents a delightful picture book about friendship under the sea. For fans of Jon Klassen’s This is Not My Hat and Oliver Jeffers’ This Moose Belongs to Me.
 
The four tales in this charming picture book show funny moments in the life of best friends Squid and Octopus. Yes, they argue sometimes (about things as silly as whether they should wear mittens or socks to keep their tentacles warm!), but they are always able to cheer each other up in glum times (such as when Squid wakes from the dream of being a superhero and feels disappointed to be plain old Squid again).
 
They are a very lucky pair. And as the fortune cookie in the last story says, true friends are friends for always.

 
“This positive, upbeat, and comforting bundle is sure to bring smiles. A good choice for goofy, interactive read-alouds.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Readers may find themselves turning the pages as if carried along by a gentle but unstoppable wave.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“Inventive, quirky, gentle, and sweet.”—School Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sweet in Wonder Bear and naughty in Bunny Days, Nyeu is back to sweet with this look at an ideal friendship between two genial cephalopods. In four stories, Squid and Octopus show readers that there’s no quarrel that a little sharing can’t solve (even when it’s about a weighty matter like the superiority of mittens vs. socks for keeping one’s tentacles warm); that chums always offer support, even in the face of a daunting dream or a scary fortune cookie fortune; and that friends let friends wear cowboy boots on their heads, even when everyone else says it’s a fashion “don’t.” Nyeu’s undersea world is filled with an amazing array of trippy-looking plant life and a large secondary cast of aquatic creatures who offer asides and non sequiturs throughout. The main protagonists are perhaps a touch too mild mannered, and their expressions have a fairly limited emotional range, but the lilting, low-key text has a subtle narrative drive, and readers may find themselves turning the pages as if carried along by a gentle but unstoppable wave. Ages 3–5. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The eight-armed or -legged underwater buddies with their distinctive hats have four silly adventures. In "The Quarrel," when Squid goes to show Octopus the beautiful socks he has knitted, Octopus insists they need mittens, not socks. Despite advice from Wise Old Turtle, they finally settle the argument themselves. In "The Dream," Squid has dreamed he can fly, that he is incredibly strong, and that he has x-ray vision. Now he feels just ordinary, until Octopus reminds him of all the things he can do. Then he feels like Super Squid indeed. "The Hat" involves the pair's inventive uses of a boot. In "The Fortune Cookie," Octopus warns Squid that the cookie he has might have good news or bad. But when they open it together, it is good news indeed. The relatively large pages combine images of the two main characters, several lines of text, and assorted sea creatures that frequently exchange side comments on the actions. Other objects are included as part of the story line. There's even a lift-up page of a submarine that exposes the fun and games of its busy interior. Silk-screened artwork using water-based ink and a colored pencil produces highly abstract characters appropriate for the fishy fantasy. Check the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—The chatty plots in these four stories are inventive, quirky, gentle, and sweet. In one, Octopus finds a cowboy boot. Is it a hat? A flower pot? A doorstop? Everyone has an opinion, and readers will enjoy knowing a little more than the sea creatures do about this subject. In another story, Squid has had a fabulous dream that waking life can't compete with—or so he thinks. Every page is generously filled with detailed ink and silkscreen art containing visual jokes, commentary by other sea creatures, and character-enhancing details. Octopus, for example, is usually painting, sculpting, or drawing—Lobster is his favorite model—and he wears berets and neckerchiefs. Squid, a champion knitter, sports a huge, pompom-topped wool hat. Readers who scrutinize the pages will be rewarded with images such as a pig watering a cupcake plant or a photo of Octopus riding a tandem bike with Wonder Bear. Best for small groups, Squid and Octopus can be enjoyed one story at a time by very young listeners or in one big gulp by those with a longer attention span. They'll all want to linger over the pictures.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Nyeu's latest contains four stories about the relationship between two eccentric sea creatures. When Squid knits socks for his multiple limbs and Octopus tells him they wear mittens, not socks, the buddies argue. Next, Squid is sad to have lost the X-ray vision bestowed while dreaming--and his status as "Super Squid." His friend convinces him that he remains special. Octopus then mistakes a cowboy boot for a hat; finally, the duo reads a fortune about everlasting friendship--the most successful story of the lot. While Nyeu's swirling silkscreens, executed in a controlled palette of blues, greens, oranges and yellows, present flora and fauna in magical, decorative compositions, her verbal narrative falls short. The conflicts and dialogues, for the most part, do not ring true. Why wouldn't Squid know about mittens, if those are what they always wear? When Octopus cheers Squid up after his dream, the conversation sounds more like an unnaturally cheery adult talking to a child than two close friends. The characters' emotional range is limited. Side comments of secondary characters don't add much in the way of humor or interest. Arnold Lobel, James Marshall and Mo Willems each created famous odd couples by pairing verbal restraint with nuanced facial expressions, universal feelings with understated affection. There is something to be learned from these models. Long on design; short on story. (Picture book. 4-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803735651
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/14/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
747,073
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD420L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Tao Nyeu is the creator of Wonder Bear, which won the Founder's Award from the Society of Illustrators and a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award Honor; and Bunny Days, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and a Golden Kite Award Honor. Tao was born in Ohio and grew up in New York. She earned a BFA from Cornell University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. She now lives in Southern California.

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