Count the ways that octopuses surprise!
Jackson (Beastly Babies, 2015) and Page (A Chicken Followed Me Home, 2015) team up to offer an engaging presentation of 10 fascinating facts about a curious creature. Organized numerically, their points are introduced in rhyme. Each spread includes both a couplet—“Octopuses! They’re so fine. / You have one brain—they have Nine!”—and a narrative paragraph providing further information, as well as an image, usually of a giant Pacific octopus. There is solid research reflected in the details, and the endmatter provides further text and web-based resources, including titles for both children and adults. The facts will be surprising to readers and listeners. They include where octopuses live, their internal and external physical characteristics (three hearts, nine brains!), arm specialization, ways they avoid predators, lifespan and egg laying, feeding, and the designation of Oct. 8 as World Octopus Day. Two-legged walking (the second fact) has not been seen in every species. Fans of Page’s work with her longtime collaborator Steve Jenkins will recognize and appreciate the clean design; digitally created images appear on a plain background of black, white, blue, or sea green. The count-up concludes with descriptions of 10 different octopus species, with sizes shown in silhouette next to a human body or hand. The appended octopus crafts and treats are unnecessary.
An appealing introduction for preschool and storytime. (Informational picture book. 3-7)