on September 26, 2012
I am a school librarian and chose this book as a read-aloud for the first week of school for my 2nd and 3rd grade classes. They loved it, especially the side conversations going on in the background. Some of the language was new to them, such as "quarrel" and "muse," which afforded opportunities to think about what the words might mean and make inferences based on the story, surrounding words, pictures, or each other's prior knowledge. It's a little tricky as a read-aloud because of the small details and words that are hard to see from far away, though we did have fun with it anyway. It's probably better suited to reading with just a couple of children up close and having them follow along with the words or read the side conversations themselves. There is a lot to discover in the pictures and lots to talk about in each story, making this a great book to share with a special young friend or two.
on July 18, 2012
Tao Nyeu presents four short stories in her latest picture book about two BFFs, or make that FFAs (Friends for Always). The first story starts with a spat, as the two friends disagree on a chilly day whether socks or mittens should be worn on tentacles. Not a problem for most readers, but then we're not cephalopods. The second story offers a surprise. When Squids dreams he has X-ray vision, readers get to lift the flap to see what's going on inside a giant submarine cruise ship. Story number three, "The Hat," is the strongest of the bunch. Octopus finds a cowboy boot and decides it's a hat. His confidence in his choice wilts as other sea creatures see the boot as a vase, flowerpot, and doorstop. Luckily Squid shares his friend's vision. In the final story, the pair imagine what the fortune in their cookie holds for them.
Nyeu creates a whimsical world for the friends to inhabit. Her silkscreen illustrations, in subdued pastel hues, are intricate and full of surprises. Beginning readers will pour over the witty details and asides, such as a pair of lobsters gossiping over bowls of soup. ("So I heard Lucy molted the other day." "You don't say!")
Squid and Octopus is a charming addition in the long tradition of fictional duos.
on October 7, 2014
This book is so whimsically drawn and has sweet stories. I really liked it, and was pleasantly surprised to even see a die cut included it. However, my nearly 4 year is still getting used to the idea that we don't read every book cover to cover every bedtime - so the multiple story format is something he's getting used to. His attention also started to waiver a little, so I may put this on the shelf and revisit in another month or two.
on April 11, 2013
Oh my goodness, I LOVE this book. I love the artwork, I love the four little mini-stories, I love the quality of it! My daughter, who is 2, won't sit through it, but that is no determining factor for us since she won't sit through ANY books. I imagine as she gets older it will be a favorite. Wouldn't change a thing about it.
BTW, we don't celebrate holidays in our household, and I was relieved to find that there is no mention of any in the stories, including birthdays and such.