Sunday 26 July 2020

Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bently. Illustrated by Steven Lenton

                                                            Link to Goodreads
                                                            Published: July 2020, Nosy Crow

A giant octopus living on top of your house? How absurd I hear you say! Yet, in the brilliantly upbeat rhyming book the initial shock of the surprise visitor soon becomes the new normal. And, by the time you finish this book you'll be wanting one on your roof too!
When an octopus makes itself at home on a coastal village rooftop, there are mixed reactions from the villagers. It looks like things are not going to work out well until the neighbourhood children discover what a great playmate an octopus can be. Soon, the octopus' eight tentacles become invaluable to everybody...until the octopus disappears as suddenly as it arrives. Will their friend ever come back? And if it does, will their be another shock in store?
This was an instant hit with all of my three children. A colourful octopus on a roof, perfectly portrayed by Steven Lenton's fantastically detailed illustrations, was a concept too irresistible to miss out on. Peter Bently's flawless, fast-paced rhythm sweeps you up as fast as an octopus' tentacle and whizzes you through an exhilarating narration of a story that is as delightful as it is unique.
The simplicity of the plot is genius. In a time of uncertainty and upheaval, it promotes the importance of friendship, community and difference whilst remaining purely light-hearted. I love the endless charm of it, the change in seasons and the dazzling centre page where the octopus is showcased in all its glory. The ending is again very simple but hugely effective and the detail on the final page of illustrations is so enchanting it leaves the reader with a couple of very important questions...what colour octopus do you want on your roof and what will its hobby be?
From a fishing and kite-flying octopus to the single baking squid, this book will encourage you to cast aside any worries and participate in five minutes of shared, carefree reading. It will make you feel as light as the breeze and as giddy as a day at the funfair. After all, anything is possible, right?

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