Monday, April 25, 2011
Octopus Soup by Mercer Mayer features a young octopus who leaves home (pulling a red wagon that holds his stuffed walrus) and gets into all sorts of adventures. After climbing up an anchor line, he lands in a fishing boat. From there he's thrown to shore and makes his way to a restaurant. The chef, imaging a tasty soup, tries to put our hero on the menu. The resourceful octopus manages to escape--with the chef pursuing him through the cobblestone streets. Chaos ensues, and soon an army of irate citizens is chasing the little fellow as he heads for his ocean home. Readers will be at the edge of their seats to see if he makes it safely back into the multi-arms of his parents.
Mercer Mayer, author/illustrator of countless picture books and beginning readers, has come full circle. His first book, A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, was wordless too. With his latest story, Mayer has gone all out with the action-crammed illustrations. I especially liked the way the individual spreads were broken down into story panels. This allows for a more complex story, one that has a comic-book feel to it. The only words that appear are part of the illustrations--signs, advertisements, and a newspaper.
And after finishing this zany tale, readers might be interested in sampling a mock version of octopus soup. This fun--and easy--recipe involves little more than slicing a hot dog to resemble an octopus and heating it in chicken broth with chopped chives for seaweed. Bon appetit!
by Mercer Mayer
Marshall Cavendish Children, 32 pages