Newest Review: ... both children. They are generally my default birthday and Christmas gifts for children aged between 0 and 3 years old and have always be... more
Octopus Socktopus - Nick Sharratt
Member Name: historywitch
Octopus Socktopus - Nick Sharratt
Advantages: Bright, Colourful, strong pages, lots of toddler appeal
When it comes to bedtime stories there are certain books that fill my heart with glee when I am presented with them. These books are funny, brightly coloured and most importantly nice and short! Octopus Socktopus is one of my 2 year old son's favourite books, he is a huge fan of Nick Sharratt books and we have quite a range in his bedroom book box. This one has a RRP of £6.99 but is available on amazon for £4 to £5.
Nick Sharratt has written and illustrated many books for this age range as well as being a well known illustrator for TV and fiction e.g. Tracey Beaker and Jacqueline Wilson. He has a unique, appealing style which relies on simple lines and bright colours, very cartoony. We own at least seven of his toddler books and all of them have been a hit with both children. They are generally my default birthday and Christmas gifts for children aged between 0 and 3 years old and have always been met with excitement and approval.
This largish picture book is beautifully simple. On each page is a picture of an octopus with the word and picture altered in some way. The first two are the eponymous Octopus and Socktopus, but there are other gems like Punk Rocktopus with his Mohican and pierced nose, Cuckoo Clocktopus (Ticktocktopus!), Octopuss with its bowl of milk, Doctorpus with his bag. My son's favourite is the Toffee Choctopus which looks like a giant quality street sweet. Lift the flap and the paper unfolds to reveal the chocolate octopus inside - this page has been dribbled on and licked rather a lot, but the shiny coating means that it looks as good as new. Each picture is simply drawn but full of life and humour. There are only 24 pages in the whole book so theoretically you could whizz through this in about 30 seconds. However each picture is so bright and colourful, beautifully drawn and illustrated that you can spend much longer poring over some of the pictures.
In addition some of the pages have paper engineering that adds a further layer of entertainment. The wheels of the Octobus all turn, if you pull the tab at the top of the cuckoo clock then the octopus pops out, the doctor's case flaps open and much more. At the end of the book, just like at the end of Moo Cow, Kung Fu Cow and Elephant Wellyphant there is a paper door which you open to slide out more of the subject creature, in this case the octopus. Despite my fears these elaborate paper mechanisms and flaps have survived extremely well. We have owned this book for about six months and it is read daily, often independently by my son and not one flap or mechanism has become damaged. The pages are equally as strong and have so far proved resistant to any sort of ripping or pulling.
My son has loved this book since he was 18 months old, the primary coloured pictures, appealing creatures and limited text are extremely appealing to this age group. However I have also caught my 6 year old reading it and have to admit to flicking through the pages myself. It is short enough to mean that repeated presentations aren't met with a chorus of groans (I'm looking at you there Gruffalo) and if necessary it can be zoomed through if bedtime is stretching out too long. But its also a lovely book to share first thing in the morning before your brain starts working properly, just looking at and discussing the pictures seems to satisfy my son.
Summary: Super Toddler book