This colorful book just landed on my doorstep yesterday! The hardcover version of Matthew Van Fleet‘s Oscar the Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year is being released by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books later this month. Another version October the Octopus was released a few years back.
Here’s a quick recap: Oscar the Octopus, who catches one sea creature per month – until he catches what we all try to avoid catching in December: a cold!
The Good: I love the idea of helping toddlers learn the months of the year – and you don’t see as many month books as you do number and letter books. And I like the book’s tactile elements, as young readers will enjoy feeling all of the animals’ features. I laughed when Oscar catches a cold!
Other Thoughts: I did want Oscar to be introduced a bit earlier; sure, he’s on the book’s cover, but younger children might benefit from knowing who Oscar is earlier in the book. I also wanted January to have a tactile element like the other months. A brief introduction to the food octopi do catch in the ocean would have been really great asset. I had to look up a few of the creatures to make sure that, yes, octopi do catch them.
A fun book but not one of my absolute favorites, Oscar the Octopus: A Book About the Months of the Year earns three stars. ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️