When a well-meaning octopus helps his buddy to bed, silliness ensues.
It’s “Bedtime ahoy” on this plump, little tugboat with Yellow Submarine–like appeal. Accordingly, the mates aboard—a good-natured boy and his cephalopod steward—begin their bedtime ritual. Octopus makes a warm bath. “Thank you, Octopus,” the boy says happily, until he realizes it’s a tub full of egg salad! “Gross! No thank you, Octopus,” the child firmly states. Wanting to make amends, Octopus offers more help and hilarity as he reinterprets the bedtime routine: Undies land on the Statue of Liberty, teeth receive a (paint) brushing, and the monsters under the bed? They’re now in the closet. Farrell’s playful illustrations, done in pencil and colored in a warm pastel palette, are appealing and hip. There is a meditative energy to his lines that perfectly captures the allure of the sea, and his use of word bubbles, patterning and quirky humor are reminiscent of an indie comic. In the end, the tables are turned, as the courteous kid extends a bear hug (given by an actual bear!) to Octopus. The best buddies say good night to each other—and to the bear, their dirty socks and the monsters in the closet.
A terrific read-aloud; each repeat visit will ensure gleeful participation, as readers practice both tone and volume. A maritime—and bedtime—delight. (Picture book. 3-6)