Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always

Tao Nyeu, Author
Tao Nyeu. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3565-1
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Sweet in Wonder Bear and naughty in Bunny Days, Nyeu is back to sweet with this look at an ideal friendship between two genial cephalopods. In four stories, Squid and Octopus show readers that there’s no quarrel that a little sharing can’t solve (even when it’s about a weighty matter like the superiority of mittens vs. socks for keeping one’s tentacles warm); that chums always offer support, even in the face of a daunting dream or a scary fortune cookie fortune; and that friends let friends wear cowboy boots on their heads, even when everyone else says it’s a fashion “don’t.” Nyeu’s undersea world is filled with an amazing array of trippy-looking plant life and a large secondary cast of aquatic creatures who offer asides and non sequiturs throughout. The main protagonists are perhaps a touch too mild mannered, and their expressions have a fairly limited emotional range, but the lilting, low-key text has a subtle narrative drive, and readers may find themselves turning the pages as if carried along by a gentle but unstoppable wave. Ages 3–5. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (June)
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