Learning how to do your best can be complicated—and fun!
Sam, bespectacled and earnest, loves all of the celebrations—Pajama Day, Silly Hat Day, Super Sports-Fan Day, Space Travel Day—his class observes at school. But even though his teacher points out that it’s not a competition, it always seems to Sam that someone else’s outfit or offering is better than his. Schoenbrun’s appealing, cartoonlike illustrations feature a multiracial group of students enjoying school while Vernick’s straightforward text delivers the story clearly with gentle humor. When Take Your Octopus to School Day rolls around and it’s time for Sam to unveil his pet octopus, Thurgood, in his tank, he waits for oohs and aahs from his fellow students—and is shocked to find that his tank appears empty! Where could Thurgood be? Is there anyone in class who can help? Perhaps there is someone else who knows something about undersea creatures as well? There is: a boy named Caleb who has a pet squid, as it happens. This quirky tale of pet ownership focuses on social-emotional skills such as resilience, healthy competition, and cooperation while remaining light and entertaining and introducing the concept of camouflage as well (Thurgood is hiding in there somewhere!). Clearly, there will have to be a Camouflage Day next. But how will they see who the winner is? Sam presents white and Caleb black.
A cheery tale that highlights the importance of friendship, confidence, and working together. (Picture book. 3-6)