"Dockray's lively illustrations portray the action and add to the humor of this cheery, unusual pet story...a grand addition to any pet-themed read-aloud session. " - Kirkus
"It's a goofy, good-natured story of a decidedly nontraditional pet." - Publishers Weekly
"It's a really cute story about seeing strengths in others and not being upset when people (or pets) don't conform to the standards we think they should. Izzy and Oscar is a lighthearted, funny, and sweet book that kids will love.
" - Batch of Books
"The illustrations by Tracy Dockray are sweet and colorful. In addition to a fun story that teaches that we love others for who they are not who we want them to be, you will also find 12 Octofacts at the end of the story. " - Mom's Lifesavers
"My girls both loved this book. My older one had fun spouting off the facts that she learned at the end, and both of them found the book humorous and cute." - Motherhood Moment
"This book is flat out adorable! From it's bright and happy illustrations, down to the fun pirate-themed story both myself and my Littlest Little loved reading it...This will make a perfect gift for young boys and girls who love to read, or love to be read to!
" - Me, My Shelf and I
"Izzy and Oscar is beautifully illustrated and shows how we can all be truly unique and yet loved for who we are. " - Central Minnesota Mom
"Izzy & Oscar by Allison Estes and Dan Stark is a fabulous, imaginative little story that will quickly capture the hearts of you and your children... The fun, imagination-filled story and the bright, heart-warming illustrations make this a book that kids will love to read over and over again." - Glimpse
"This exciting story is full of rich vocabulary, beautiful pencil and dye illustrations, and belly-laugh humor that young children will love. " - School Library Journal
"In this amusing book we see how friendships can sometimes be a little rocky at the beginning, especially if your friend happens to be an octopus. Children will be amused to see how Izzy and Oscar resolve their problem in a rather unconventional way. " - Through the Looking Glass Reviews
K-Gr 2—Izzy, the pirate captain, has always wanted a pet. One day, she and her friends stumble upon a rather nontraditional pet, an octopus, whom she names Oscar. He eats too much and inks her mom, but when a man goes overboard, Oscar comes to the rescue, saving Izzy and another friend who can't swim. This exciting story is full of rich vocabulary, beautiful pencil and dye illustrations, and belly-laugh humor that young children will love. The images are colorful and eye-catching, while not overpowering. The characters' facial expressions are funny and speak volumes. The back of the book also contains a list of fun "Octofacts." Izzy & Oscar has the potential to appeal to children of all genders, while offering girl empowerment through Izzy's pirate captain narrative; she's a young and quirky, modern-day Anne Bonny. This title would make a great segue into a STEM discussion on animal camouflage and octopi traits. VERDICT A good addition to any library or classroom collection, making for a fun read aloud or independent reading selection.—Kaitlin Connors, Virginia Beach Public Library
Pirate captain Izzy finds a treasure of a pet in an octopus.With his surprising ability to survive outside the water, Oscar the octopus isn't much like a real octopus, but he isn't much like an ordinary pet, either. He doesn't fetch or shake hands. He sleeps under the bed instead of on it, doesn't always behave well on a leash and doesn't want to be ridden. His best trick is camouflage, but that backfires when, surprised in a hiding place, he inks Izzy's mother. Dockray's lively illustrations portray the action and add to the humor of this cheery, unusual pet story, especially through Oscar's expressive body language. Done with digitally friendly Doc Martin dyes and pencil, these images are colorful and engaging and will show well to a group. The diversity of the four seashore-exploring children in Izzy's crew is suggested through their different hair styles and colors. They're led by ponytailed, Caucasian Izzy, who does her best to figure out just what to do with this animal. "Oscar ate a lot. He grew bigger. So did his octopoop." Young listeners may finally, sadly agree that "[a]n octopus belongs in the ocean," but they'll cheer at the unexpected resolution. A grand addition to any pet-themed read-aloud session. (Picture book. 3-7)