Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall & illustrated by Benji Davies [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: At first glance upon picking up Also An Octopus one thinks, "Oh! Another adorable kiddie picture book." But then upon delving into this first-time author's debut (redundant, huh!) book, there is a bit more meat to the story than cutsie octopuses and kiddies and fantastic folks in unreal places.

Now we don't want to overthink a kid's book because that might just take away from the fun of reading. But what is the harm in discovering that the "rest of the story" is the beginning of the story or the making of the story.

We start with a character - like a kid. We add in others - also an Octopus and that makes for fun - and as they say, "...a little bit of nothing." And then if you struggle through the making of the story and it flops, then you can take that and a little bit of nothing and go again for another try.

So it is cute story line that encourages and gives a basic story structure beginning with "..a little bit of nothing." And it is also simply a cute kid's picture book with delightful characters, smiles, happiness, and positive thoughts.

About the book: Even the most totally awesome story starts with a little bit of nothing. What happens next is up to you! A delightfully meta picture book that will set imaginations soaring.

It begins with an octopus who plays the ukulele. Since this is a story, the octopus has to want something—maybe to travel to faraway galaxies in a totally awesome purple spaceship. Then the octopus sets out to build a spaceship out of soda cans, glue, umbrellas, glitter, and waffles. OK, maybe the octopus needs some help, like from an adorable bunny friend, and maybe that bunny turns out to be . . . a rocket scientist? (Probably not.) But could something even more amazing come to pass?
GIVEAWAY - 2 winners each win a copy
Begins December 1
ENDS December 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to US/CANADA. No PO Boxes
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to failitate a review of my honest opinions which are freely given. Giveaway copy is provided and mailed directly to winner by Candlewick.


  1. I just bought my granddaughter a journal to start writing about her day and about her life. Her mother is a writer so I am hoping it will continue with her.

  2. (1) One other picture book you would like to have - Bob the Railway Dog
    (2) One picture book you would like reviewed here on Chat With Vera - The Tightrope Walkers

  3. Encourage imagination by leaving kids alone, and don't buy them overly complicated toys. Nobody needs Legos with motors.

    Candlewick: There are a lot of books that would be great to have or for people to review. "Rain" and "Snow by Sam Usher look intriguing. "There's a Bear In My Chair" looks charming. "The Fairy-Tale Handbook." "There, There." All excellent possibilities.

  4. The very first and most important thing is to encourage children to read a great variety of content and to expand their vocabulary.

  5. 1. Picture book I would like to have - Bramble and Maggie: Snow Day author: Jessie Haas illustrator: Alison Friend
    2. Book for you to review - The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation author:
    Shannon Hale illustrator: LeUyen Pham

  6. Sit down and start one with them. My dad used to tell us stories and draw pictures to go along with them when we were kids.

  7. I'd get them their own pens and notebooks to write in :)


  8. I have no problem helping my child be imaginative...he has an imagination as big as the world (bigger, probably). But getting him to write it down? Now, that I haven't figures out yet. Working on it! So far my best method involves talking Aliens on a dry erase board.

    1. I should elaborate...or just point you here:

  9. My children are very imaginative, they actually enjoy writing stories.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Another picture book I'd like....Bears in the Snow

    Book reviewed on here....A Child of Books

  12. I'd tell her to not listen to her inner critic and to reach to push the boundaries of her imagination.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.