'Oh, why do we have to be different!' said Otto. 'Why can't we be like everyone else!'"" That Otto the octopus will learn to appreciate having eight arms can be predicted from the outset, but Brandenberg and Stevenson give this stock theme a refreshing new workout. It's fun to see Otto, urged by his mother to use all his arms, accomplishing several chores at once--and recognizably funny to see him corrected for following the same advice at dinner. ""After all,"" says Mother, ""you have only one mouth."" Smiles, too, at Father octopus casually balancing pipe, coffee, and open newspaper, and at Otto's friends, a familiar Stevenson animal cast, pulling all his arms in a tug-o'-war over which hockey team will get him for goalie. The ending is inevitable, with Otto being hugged goodnight by Mother's eight arms, but how many artists could make a huggable, cute tyke of a scraggly octopus?