OSWALD THE OCTOPUS by Dan Yaccarino

OSWALD THE OCTOPUS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Oswald is a rotund, royal-blue octopus who stars in his own TV series for preschoolers on Nick Jr., which was also created by Yaccarino (I Love Going Through This Book, see above, etc.). The jolly octopus has moved to a new town with his dog (a dachshund named Weenie), and his problem is how to move his huge piano up the stairs and into his new apartment. Oswald and Weenie give it a try (there’s no explanation of how they get it out of the car), but the piano rolls down the front steps and out into the town, where Oswald and Weenie meet a succession of new friends who offer to help. In a reverse of the “Enormous Turnip” folktale concept, the line of friends all help push the piano out of a fountain and back to the apartment, then over to a pie shop, but the actual scene of successfully pushing the piano up the stairs is never shown, effectively bypassing the resolution of the plot. Yaccarino’s bold but simple illustrations make effective use of unusual colors and white space, and some of the characters are cleverly named, but their dialogue is a little too simple: “ ‘Gubba, gubba,’ said Catrina Caterpillar.” ‘Yawn,’ said Henry.” Preschoolers who are fans of the TV show might like this, but their parents will be yawning along with Henry the penguin. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-84252-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2001




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