This beautifully-illustrated picture book is a celebration of friendship and playing games together.
Octopus and is being chased by Jellyfish in a game of tag in the ocean. This is a fun book to read aloud and listen to with its rhyme, rhythm and repetitive first line: ‘I’m an inky octopus…’.
Each rhyming couplet includes a fact about octopi that may be new and instructional to younger readers. An example is that they have nine brains and no bones.
A cast of creatures is included in this story and children will enjoy spotting the turtle, stingray and other ocean-dwelling animals.
And then there is that moment in the game of tag where the one being chased feels alone, abandoned and scared. But dad octopus with his three warm hearts comes to the rescue with a hug. Reading this page is a feel-good moment.
A te reo Māori translated edition is also available: He Wheke Wai Mamangu Au. I would love these stories to be published with both languages on the same page, instead of in a separate book. I feel this would have broader appeal and provide more accessibility to new learners of te reo.
I would especially recommend this book to parents with preschoolers, but it also has that all-age appeal making it fun for older children and adults to read aloud.
Title: I’m an Inky Octopus and He Wheke Wai Mamangu Au
Author & Illustrator: Stephanie Thatcher
Translator: Pānia Papa
ISBN: 9781775436898 (English) and 9781775436904 (te reo Māori)
Publication: June 2021
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: I'm an inky octopus wafting in the weeds.