Uh-oh Octopus! by Elle van Lieshout and Erik van Os, illustrated by Mies van Hout (Lemniscaat USA, 2015)

What the book’s about

In Uh-oh Octopus!, one day Octopus returns to his “cozy home under the sea” to find a huge tail sticking out of the entrance, blocking his way. Octopus turns to his fishy friends to figure out what to do. But each friend has different advice for him about the intruder, and none of it feels right. Octopus is so confused! When he finally listens to his inner voice and decides to take action, he frees the creature, who isn’t an intruder after all. Colorful, expressive illustrations draw readers into Octopus’ undersea world and its diverse inhabitants.

Two Activities for preschool through 2nd grade, by Jessica Young

Activity 1: Fishy Facts

Supplies

  • White drawing paper
  • Pencils/colored pencils/crayons/markers or paints

Activity

After reading Uh-oh Octopus!, ask kids to recall some of the details about Octopus and his fishy friends. Look back through the story and write down what they remember about what each of the following creatures looks like or says:

  • Octopus
  • Hermit Crab
  • Jellyfish
  • Whale
  • Lionfish
  • Fire Fish
  • Needle Fish
  • Sea Urchin
  • Sea Snail
  • Trunk Fish
  • Soldier Fish

Each member of the group can then draw his or her favorite fishy friend to display “under the sea” on a bulletin board.

Extension for kids ready to find out more:

Kids pick one ocean creature from the book to research and report their findings to the group.

 

Activity 2: Cozy Home Under the Sea

Supplies

  • White drawing paper
  • Pencils/colored pencils/crayons/markers or paints

Activity

After reading Uh-oh Octopus!, kids study Octopus’ “cozy home under the sea” and then design one of their own showing materials from the ocean (like seaweed, driftwood, shells, coral, etc.).

Extension for those near a shore:

Use actual beach findings, such as small pebbles, shells, or driftwood bits to create a bulletin board display of Octopus’ “cozy home under the sea” as a group project.

Jumpstart for preschool through 2nd grade, by Jessica Young

So Many Fish

Octopus gets a lot of advice on how to handle his problem: “So many fish with so many solutions.” How does he finally decide what to do? Ask kids what they do when choosing from several options. Do they observe others to find out more about the choices, or ask someone they trust for an opinion before making up their minds? Are some choices more important than others? What are some examples of really important choices and not-so-important choices?

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