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Octopus Soup Hardcover – April 1, 2011

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

K-Gr 2 In the opening panels of this wordless picture book, an octopus emerges from his home, pulling a small walrus in a red wagon. He climbs up a rope dropped by a hippopotamus fisherman and is caught, and from there his adventures take off in a series of three-to-four boxed illustrations per page. Young children will giggle as he wiggles his way through busy cobblestone streets, evading a hippopotamus city worker s broom and the clutches of a walrus chef and a rat waiter in a tux. The artist s signature cartoons are colorful, whimsical, and entertaining. Mayer continues to enchant a new generation of readers. --School Library Journal, April, 2011

About the Author

Mercer Mayer has been writing and illustrating children's books for over 35 years. He began the popular Little Critter series nearly 30 years ago and titled the first book Just for You. His wife, Gina, has been co-writing the series since the early 1990s. The books in this series address the major issues of growing up through humorous storytelling.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761458123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761458128
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MERCER MAYER began writing and illustrating children's books in 1966, and since that time, he has published over 300 titles. Open almost any of the award-winning author/illustrator's books, and out may pop dragons, cuddly monsters, wonderful creatures, and endearing critters.

"Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid," says Mercer. "Now that I'm a big kid, I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children. They always help remind me of what it was like."

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mercer Mayer spent his childhood hunting lizards and snakes in the swamps near his home. During his teenage years, he attended the Honolulu Academy of Arts. He later received additional training at the Art Students League in New York City. Upon completion of his studies, he set out with pen and ink to write and illustrate a collection of children's books, reflecting many of the adventures he experienced as a child.

In 2007, Mr. Mayer was commissioned by Laura Bush to create the artwork used for the National Book Festival held on September 29 on the National Mall. He was an honored guest to the event, giving a demonstration and autographing hundreds of books for fans who attended.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Barbara TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mercer Mayer has done it again with the children's book Octopus Soup. Mercer tells his stories without words. The child is led by his wonderful illustrations and prompted to add the dialogue to his creative and adventuresome tales.

In Octopus soup we follow a young octopus that leaves home one day and being a curious octopus, climbs into a boat. It ends up in a tackle box and gets tossed onto the shore where it somehow wanders into a restaurant. The chef decides to make octopus soup so our new eight armed hero makes a getaway through the town being pursued by a throng of hunters.

The illustrations are no less than genius in prompting the young readers to make up their own tale that can change again and again with each "reading". Curling up on mom or dads lap is the best way to deliver this book but with no words the child can go solo whenever they want to continue the adventure.

And yes, there is a happy ending. Our little octopus finds its way home into the (8) loving arms of its mother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jennifer on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i just recently came across a book without words and my 4 year old and me loved it normally when i am reading her a book she is constantly interupting me but with this book we both discussed the pictures and she loved that so much more i know some people say that with picture books it gets boring after the first time however i feel like they only say that because they lack imagination. every time we read the book we make it different each time sometimes she will read it to me and sometimes we will discuss the book i absolutly love this book and wil get many more like it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becca Chopra VINE VOICE on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading this book to my young nephew was a delight for both of us as we laughed at the antics of a young octopus who almost ends up in a large boiling pot of soup. Many of his antics seemed realistic to my nephew, and we both felt satisfied and complete when the octopus finds himself safely back in the arms of his mother. Well written and illustrated.

Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann Elliot VINE VOICE on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Recently, I located copies of Mayer's first books -- the boy, dog and frog series -- to see whether my 3-year-old grandson would enjoy them as much as his father did years ago. They now rank among my grandson's favorites and are read over and over, so I was delighted to see Mayer had returned to the "wordless" stories with Octopus Soup.

While Mayer's first books were short stories in black and white, illustrated with minimalist sketches, Octopus Soup is longer, with humorous pictures in vivid colors -- rather like a comic book. Small children are sure to be delighted. So much happens and the situations are so amusing that children will see something new with every reading and will anticipate what comes next with glee.

I hope the book will eventually be released in other formats. The hardback version is beautiful to behold, but expensive (if the price printed in the advance copy is true), and that could be a problem. As a baby, my grandson loved Goodnight Moon so much that he devoured it -- literally. By the time we bought a third replacement, we sought the sturdy thick cardboard kind -- a large one for everyday use and a smaller one to take along in the car. If a little fellow should become obsessed with this book, many options at a lesser price would be appreciated.

Update: Since posting this review, I have taken a long car trip with the 3-year-old. We read Octopus Soup over and over. When we returned to the car in the dark after dinner, he requested another reading. "We can't," I said. "It is so dark we can't see the book." He looked at me slyly and replied, "But you have a flashlight." So I did. I located it and we read the book a few more times. I'd say the book is a great success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ut158 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Amazon's description and preview leave little need to read or write any reviews on this book as you can get a pretty good idea of the whole thing just by looking at those. Since you are reading reviews, anyway, allow me to throw in my 2 cents.

On the positive side...
Wordless books are nice for small children who can't quite read yet, but they require plenty of detailed pictures in order to pull it off. The artwork in this book is both detailed and fun.

On the negative side...
* The story line itself is somewhat less detailed and fun --> an octopus leaves home, "people" chase him from place to place until he winds up in a seafood restaurant and has to escape before he is turned into soup (which he does). The end. Not bad, but it feels like it still needs something.
* There are a few parts that were not explained at all. For example, why is the octopus leaving home, anyway? I mean, his (her?) parents are sending him (her?) off like (s)he was going to college or something, but the octopus is pulling a toy wagon with what appears to be a stuffed animal, so I assumed it was quite young... so what's going on here?

All in all it is a cute book and I liked it. More importantly, the kids seemed to enjoy it and my 4 year old is able to understand the story even though she only reads a total of like 10 words.

No, I'm not going to give it 5 stars, but 4 ain't bad and at the asking price (at the time of this review, it is under 5) I think it's a good addition to a child's library.
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