Will Octicorn’s party be a success?
Octicorn loves pool parties and is planning one, but the horned cephalopod worries no one will show. Octicorn invites Unicorn, who says, “If there are rainbows to fly over. I’m in.” Octicorn is happy Unicorn will attend. Turtle says he will come if no one talks—he’s shy. Seahorse will come only if Unicorn is not invited. Snail will attend only if there is break dancing. Lion wants to eat the other guests, but Octicorn doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Woodchuck, of course, will come if there is wood to chuck. Octicorn is happy so many creatures will be there…until the hapless host realizes that many of the guests’ stipulations are mutually exclusive; there’s no way to satisfy them all. So Octicorn decides to have “a do what you want, be who you are, no matter what anyone else thinks, party instead.” And a good time is clearly being had by all—except Lion, who cannot attend but is given a cupcake to eat outside. Creators Diller and Lowe go beyond the one-joke core of Octi’s introduction in Hello, My Name Is Octicorn (2016) to present a tale of social awkwardness with dryly deadpan humor that the painfully shy, in particular, will identify with. Mulholland’s childlike scribbly doodle art replicates the look of the first book (done by Lowe with Binny Talib), and with its occasional splashes of color, it fits the tale and reinforces the tone.
An inclusive, be-yourself party—with cupcakes—can’t help but succeed. (Picture book. 3-9)