Embarrassed by his lack of underpants, an octopus discovers why he doesn’t need them.
Written as a ballad, this jaunty tale is giggle-producing. Having six legs too many for the standard briefs, he finds no one who can supply him with the appropriate clothing. “I’ve even tried to shop online. / I tried to surf the net.” But then he discovers the Under-Sea Emporium, which has clothing for every kind of sea creature from barnacles to rainbow trout—and with snazzy designs as well. Even better, the sea horse storekeeper solves the protagonist’s problem. The choice of meter supports the cheerful tone, and Senior’s rhyme and rhythm work beautifully. Powell fills the pages with lively, surprising sea creatures; on one spread they all wear underpants of some kind, and on another several sport hats. Her training in graphic design and background in animation are reflected in careful pacing of the storyboard, which will show reasonably well to groups, but lap-sitters will find humorous details on these pages, drawn by hand and colored digitally. Questions of accuracy are irrelevant in this kind of light verse, but for the sake of the rhyme the writer has used a nonstandard plural, “octopi,” though biologists prefer “octopuses.” And, as is customary in cartoons, the illustrator has placed the octopus’s eyes and mouth on its mantle instead of on the head in the middle. It would be helpful to balance a storytime presentation with something more realistic.
Gentle humor and bubbly fun. (Picture book. 3-6)