Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

My Octopus Arms

Baker, Keith (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781442458437 (hardcover)
9781442458444 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

When a little purple crab asks a friendly pink octopus to show him what his eight arms can do, the duo set off on a wonderful exploration of multitasking. The octopus is seen knitting an eight-armed woolly sweater; writing stacks and stacks of letters; playing the guitar, harpsichord and banjo all at once; untangling knots and stirring pots. The best thing his eight arms can do is comfort a baby octopus that is forlorn over a broken shell. Being able to reassure is something all arms can do: “With a hug – not too tight! – my arms can make it feel all right.”

Simple text is packed with action verbs; language is rich with repetition and rhyme, encouraging prediction. “My arms can play a game of chess, clean up a mess, drag a stick, and take a photo – click, click, click!”

Digital artwork colourfully depicts an underwater world that is bright with primary colours. The octopus and his many skills and actions, along with his helpful crab sidekick, dominate the images. Light blue backdrops and oval frames highlight each activity. Humorous details are placed throughout – the little crab wearing a top hat, tasting the pasta sauce or assisting the octopus in untangling knots.

A sweet and gentle story about potential, with a feel-good ending.

  •  What do you do with your arms? Start a list and record your ideas. Add to it as you read.
  •  

    See if you can predict the rhyming word at the end of the second line of each stanza. Use your knowledge of rhymes and picture clues.

  •  

    Play Octopus Charades. Act out the activities the octopus does in the story and see if a partner or your classmates can guess which one it is.

  •  Who would you hug if you had octopus arms? Draw a picture to show your thinking.
  •  What do you do with your arms? Start a list and record your ideas. Add to it as you read.
  •  

    Notice all the rhyming words. Think of other words that rhyme with these.

  •  

    In small groups, make a list, poster or book in the same style about what you can do with another body part (legs, eyes, mouth, etc.).

  • To cooperate with others
  • Health and Well-Being