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Author: Donna and Doreen Rathmell

Illustrator: Connie McLennan

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Publisher: Arbordale Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Octavia (an octopus) and her underwater friends have their own version of hide and seek. It's called "Hide from a hungry creature." Each animal demonstrates how it camouflages itself, and Octavia squirts ink ... in all kinds of colors. Try as she might, the ink is never purple. When the shark arrives, everyone is prepared. But what about Octavia? This picture book offers an underwater story that blends factual information and a tale with life lessons for kids.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

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

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 3.4

Age of Child: Shared with a Kindergarten class, children ages 5 and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: The kids loved this story. They especially liked Octavia's rainbow of ink colors! Their teacher printed the drawing on the last page, and everyone had a chance to color their own picture.

Adult Reader Reaction: There is so much you can do with this book. There is something to learn and enjoy for toddlers on up, and the facts and suggestions at the back have something for each learning stage, from colors to nature to science. We even liked how the other animals didn't make fun of Octavia because she didn't get it "just right."

Pros: This is a picture book that offers lots of learning in a simple story.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. There re incredible learning opportunities wrapped in a great story. This has the potential to grow with your child, particularly if you start sharing it when they are toddlers/preschoolers.


Educational Themes: There is plenty to enjoy with this book. For the youngest audience, you can practice color and animal identification, color blends, and feelings (frustration, perseverence); for elementary-aged students, you can talk about self-preservation, nature, animal habits and habitat, and feelings.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, nature, colors

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2007

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