It appears there once was a time when a squid’s 10 arms “were all of equal length.”
In this modern pourquoi tale, a shivering 10-armed squid dressed only in a “splendid silvery scarf, knitted most lovingly by his mother,” nabs an octopus’s sweater, a fiddler crab’s mitten, and a moray eel’s “spectacular cap.” But the three gang up to foil his thievery and get their clothing back. The story is told simply but with lively, Kipling-inspired language. At the climax, the squid extends a tentacle to lift the cap, and “the eel nabbed one arm. The crab grabbed another,” and a wordless spread follows, showing a three-way tug of war. Another, final wordless spread suggests the thief may lose even more. Graber’s cheerful illustrations depict an appropriately dark underwater world. His cartoon-style animals have vaguely human faces with large eyes. The blue squid’s mantle looks a lot like a hoodie. The purple octopus’s incongruously long eyelashes nearly disappear as her color darkens with rage. The green eel’s fur-lined cap is particularly amusing. An endnote adds a few fast facts about squid—enough, perhaps, to make storytime listeners want to know more about this less well-known cephalopod.
An amusing account of undersea shenanigans. (Picture book. 3-7)