Genre: Picture Book
Author(s): Tao Nyeu
Illustrator(s): Tao Nyeu
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: 06/14/2012
Hard cover Price: $16.99
Reading Level: 3-8
Read Aloud: 3
Read Alone: 5
Other Choices: The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Bubble Guppies
Synopsis: Two tentacled best friends in four fun short stories.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Squid and Octopus: Friends for Life is a gentle picture book in the tradition of George and Martha: Two friends from the animal kingdom encounter ordinary obstacles and help each other figure things out. These two friends just happen to have tentacles and live under the sea. Humor, sweet messages, and lots to look at make this a perfect read-aloud choice for bedtime or naptime.
- Families can talk about what true friendship is all about. Is it OK to disagree with your best friend sometimes?
- Do you ever imagine what it would be like to live under the sea? Does it look like fun?
- What other books, movies, or TV shows with sea creatures have you enjoyed?
What's the story?
Squid and Octopus are best pals who have heaps of fun together, work out their differences, and support each other though thick and thin, as we see in the four short stories contained in SQUID AND OCTOPUS: FRIENDS FOR ALWAYS. In the first story, "The Quarrel," they get in a fashion fight over which is better for the tips of their tentacles, mittens or socks. Squid wakes up from superhero adventure disappointed to be "just regular old me again" in "The Dream." But Octopus reassures him that he does plenty of "super" stuff in real life, including organizing Tickle Monday each week. Octopus finds a cowboy boot and tries to figure out what it's for in "The Hat." And the two friends ponder good, bad, and "tricky" fortune in "The Fortune Cookie."
Is it any good?
Squid and Octopus: Friends for Life offers many scenarios with plenty to look at on each spread. The soft palette of teal blue, green, orange, and yellow pastels provides a soothing atmosphere, making it a perfect read for bedtime or naptime. There's lots of gentle humor, too, with sly jokes coming out of the mouths of minor characters, such as fish swimming by or crabs crawling along the sandy bottom. With so much going on, it should take a long time to get tired of this one.
The Good Stuff
Messages: "True friends are friends for always," as the fortune cookie reads. And Squid and Octopus show they have that kind of friendship. Octopus is reassuring when Squid fears he's too ordinary after awakening from a dream in which he was Super Squid. The two friends also decide to share their socks and mittens rather than argue about which is better.
Educational Value: Kids see many different species that live under the sea, including sharks, whales, starfish, rays, hermit crabs, lobsters, eels, turtles, jellyfish, all kinds of fish, and, of course, one squid and one octopus.
Role Models: Squid and Octopus are kind, fun loving, caring, creative, artistic, and respectful and supportive of each other. Old Turtle is wise.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Not an issue
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue