All bookseller links are provided so you can get more information about a book. We have affiliate relationships with Barefoot Books,, and Tapestry Books. All revenue generated from sales through these venues is used strictly to cover website costs and minimize donation requests and fundraising campaigns.

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success. More

      Printer Friendly

Click cover to buy:


Author: Allison Estes and Dan Stark

Illustrator: Tracy Dockray

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Jabberwocky, an Imprint of Sourcebooks, 2015

Material: hard cover

Summary: Izzy found an octopus and decided to keep it as a pet. Oscar didn't make a very good pet. So she decided to take him back to the ocean. When Izzy and a friend fell into a pool, Oscar swam in to save them. Maybe Oscar is a better hero than a pet? This picture book about friendship also has a lesson on accepting things for who they are.

Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together 3 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 3.4

Age of Child: Read with children ages 3 and 5.

Young Reader Reaction: My son (6) didn't think Izzy was a good octopus owner. He was concerned about the octopus being outside of water for so long. He did like the book though b/c it was exciting at the end.

Adult Reader Reaction: I thought the premise of the book was cute and entertaining. I knew they'd like the book because of their love for animals.

Pros: Fantasy and humor (plus a girl pirate!) come together in this story of a unique friendship. Kids can also learn about octopi.

Cons: As the story moves on, Oscar begins to look ill in the pictures after being out of the water. But there is no text to explain this. I felt like there was a disconnect there.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. My children really liked this book and I think other children would enjoy reading it once or twice, too.


Educational Themes: This is a fantasy story, but with elements of realism. This would be a good story for sharing when the lesson is understanding and taking care of pets. Even though they are different species, there is also an opportunity to talk about accepting people for the talents they have (and not trying to make them something else).

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons, pirates

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


Copyright © 2003 - 2018. The Reading Tub, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Reading Tub and Turning a Page ... Opening the World are registered trademarks of The Reading Tub Inc.
No use of these trademarks is permitted without written approval of The Reading Tub, Inc.
Privacy Policy.     Site developed by Sites2BeSeen.