Before I had children, I knew everything there was about raising children. Seven years into the game, I’m realizing that I know nothing, John Snow about children. In the midst of my child rearing expert period, I declared that my children were not going to read television books. I thought they were a lower form of literature, and such books would never darken my doorway.
Like many of the things that I did not plan to do regarding children, the book snobbery went right out the window. We have many books featuring beloved television characters. Are they the most well written books? No, many of them don’t even have an author listed, which leads me to believe that they were either ghost written or authored by a robot. Or maybe ghostwritten by a robot.
The Octonauts is not my children’s favorite show, but it is one that they enjoy watching from time to time. This animated program features a team of animals that live under the sea in a research base called the Octopod. Each animal brings different strengths to the team. They work together to solve mysteries and explore the ocean around them.
I ordered some Octonauts books through the library network, and I was pleasantly surprised by what we received. We got four different hardcover books, each lovingly illustrated by Meomi, a team consisting of Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy. The illustrations are amazing. The style is vaguely reminiscent of Miyazaki, but it possesses its own unique character. The illustrations are whimsical and delightful. We especially enjoyed the sections in each story where the book had to be turned sideways or upside down.
The stories are equally engaging. They involve the Octonauts crew solving an underwater mystery: a ghostly coral reef, a fish that frowns and cannot be cheered up, a monstrous creature looking for company, and some missing shade. These are light mysteries, and the Octonauts work together to solve the problem.
The plots are slightly more sophisticated than the typical book featuring television characters, and I was not surprised to learn that these books predate the Octonauts show by several years. It is, in fact, these books that formed the basis for the Octonauts program. But all of your children’s favorite (or perhaps your favorite!) characters are there- Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso, and the rest of the gang.
My girls enjoyed reading these books, and requested them several times during the time that we had them in our house. They are being released in paperback in a couple of weeks, and I know that we will be adding these books to our collection.
You can find out some more information about the book here: