How to Get Your Octopus to School


Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Flamingo Books
Publish Date
9.2 X 11.2 X 0.5 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Becky Scharnhorst is a children's book author who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two kids, and several silly pets (but, sadly, no octopuses). She is the author of My School Stinks and This Field Trip Stinks. You can visit Becky online at or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @beckyscharn.

Jaclyn Sinquett grew up playing in her dad's garden, feeding worms to box turtles, and tossing french fries to seagulls at the Jersey Shore. She received her BFA in illustration from the University of the Arts in 2008 and has been illustrating professionally ever since. She now spends her time avoiding sunburn at the beach with her daughter, catching up on a certain great baking show, and illustrating books for children. Jaclyn is the illustrator of Loud Mouse, written by Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, and It Will Be OK, written by Lisa Katzenberger. She lives in Brick, New Jersey. You can visit Jaclyn Sinquett online at or follow her on Instagram @JSinquett.


★"Scharnhorst's second-person narrative slips readers into the perspective of the young girl sending her cunning, yet cuddly, octopus off to school. While the octopus's game of hide-and-seek may extend a bit too long for grown-ups, young readers will hardly notice as they enjoy spotting the octopus hiding throughout Sinquett's playful and brightly colored digital cartoon illustrations. Spoiler alert: The goodbye hug at the end of the story might draw a tear from grown-up readers getting ready to send children off to school. Back matter contains a list of "Ten (Mostly) True Facts About Octopuses," for readers curious about the habits of octopuses highlighted throughout. VERDICT A charming, eight-armed hug of a story that won't hide long on library shelves."--School Library Journal (starred review)

"The matter-of-fact text will easily pull anyone into this alternate version of the world, where octopuses play with stuffed toys, draw at easels, and hug their humans goodbye. As a bonus, the book does not reference a specific school level, making it accessible for a wide range of young children. A list of octopus facts after the story will help caregivers distinguish between truth and fiction presented in the narrative. A charming back-to-school book for the nervous octopus in all of us." -- Kirkus reviews

"Sinquett's illustrations are neatly composed and highly detailed, showing off every stitch of a knit pattern, every vein on a leaf, and every speckle of glitter, while still maintaining a cartoonish, adorable look for the octopus and his burdened but doting pigtailed caretaker. The red-hued octopus' outfits and choice of hiding spots make this a visual treat of a picture book as viewers get to look for the octopus on each page and giggle at his evasion tactics and stylish garb. The octopus serves as a sweet buffer for viewers who are shy about going to school themselves, and older siblings may benefit from a reminder to be patient with little ones who don't know the drill just yet. An engaging list of embellished octopus facts is included at the end." --BCCB

"It's all-hands-on-deck when a pale-skinned child with long black pigtails tries to wrangle an octopus for his first day of school. Addressing readers in a second-person voice, Scharnhorst offers funny and endearingly patient point-by-point advice on a morning routine . . . All the while, Sinquett's breezy digital art depicts a small, salmon-hued octopus humorously exhibiting arrayed behaviors both human (trying on outfits, sitting at the breakfast table) and cephalopod (camouflaging, inking). Arrival at the classroom, filled with octopus friends and a kind-faced teacher, sets the stage for a tender transition. "Ten (Mostly) True Facts About Octopuses" closes this sweetly humorous take on a familiar rite of passage." --Publishers Weekly