A few years ago I read The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonders of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. I decided then and there to never eat octopus, and by extension, calamari again – I am not yet unilaterally consistent in this decision as I still eat other meat – but I am eating less and less and thinking about my choices. I mention this abrupt conclusion I made to emphasize how I fell in love with octopuses. And why I picked up Octopuses One to Ten by Ellen Jackson and Robin Page (Beach Lane Books, 2016).
Octopuses One to Ten is a great example of a multi-concept book, and it’s told in rhyme. It’s adorable, educational and fun. The main story is told using illustrations of the giant Pacific octopus. Each spread has a side bar – I love the use of sidebars – without being too busy. After 9 full-page spreads of a rhyme and information on the giant Pacific octopus, the book transitions with #10 to back matter on 10 different octopuses. These pages show how big each octopus species would be next to a human with a small graphic in the corner that is both simple in execution and powerful in its message.
There is so much information packed into this book, yet it doesn’t scream at you. It didn’t overload my senses like so many busy books do. It pulled me in and made me want to start over again as soon as I’d finished. It’s perfect for sharing with your little reader.