Octopus loves using his tentacles to tickle everyone. The little fish think it’s fun but some of the other creatures in the sea are less than enthusiastic. One day Octopus startles a snoozing oyster with ‘a teeny tiny tickle’ and as she jumps awake, she drops her pearl which is carried away by the current. Octopus assures poor oyster that he’ll get it back for her and sets off in hot pursuit.
Effective illustrations and a well-composed text combine to make this a book that can be enjoyed with the very young over and over again. The juxtaposition of text and pictures is clear and uncluttered. The text abounds in alliteration (‘twisty, twirly tentacles’) and the use of rhyming words (‘the wriggly, giggly fish’) along with a catchy repetitive strain. As Octopus pursues the pearl he’s accidentally displaced from Oyster’s shell, he picks up some self-affirmation along the way: ‘I never knew I could be so speedy!’
One can imagine this phrase – ‘I never knew I could…’ being taken up by young children and being applied outside the sharing of the book. Pause for thought! There’s a lot to enjoy at each reading of this book with a young child, from the swirling shapes and colours of the appealing illustrations to the anticipation and prediction of story and textual content.