Oscar the Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year by Matthew Van Fleet

  Oscar the Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year by Matthew Van Fleet, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,9781534452374, 2019; previously published 2014 under title October the Octopus

Format: board book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book:  A wonderful introduction to the months of the year for preschoolers with an ocean theme and fun textures on each page spread- I loved it!  There are flaps and a pop up at the end revealing various sea creatures that Oscar will capture during each month.  

January begins with ice and an orange striped lionfish, February was freezing with a green pebbly scaled sea turtle, March blew in blustery gales with a scratchy blue tailed shark, April spring rains came and caught a bright red crinkled lobster, May brought spring flowers and a fuzzy gray penguin chick, June was bright and warm with a sticky pink cuttlefish, in July the sun burned and Oscar caught a bumpy yellow seahorse,  August was sweltering and Oscar caught a squishy purple sea snail, September was cool with a black slick eel, October leaves swirled around a furry brown sea otter, November was chilly with a shiny gold goldfish, and in December the sea was covered in snow and Oscar caught all he could hold- and a cold. Oscar catches a soft white tissue and a surprise pop-up ending.

This is sure to be read over and over by little ones with fun and colorful illustrations.  I especially enjoyed the back cover where you can see under the ocean two children are reading a book together through the submarine window surrounded by swimming fish.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? Anyone with a young child to introduce the months of the year, colors, textures, and sea creatures.  And if they liked Matthew Van Fleet’s prior work: Alphabet and Heads.

Who should buy this book?  Preschools, daycares, and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ?  Board books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? no

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Julie Durmis, JC Solmonese Elementary School, Norton, MA

Date of review:  September 13, 2019


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