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The Octopuppy

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  698 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Meet Edgar. He's determined to train his new puppy. Sit. Stay. Fetch. What could go wrong? It's just that Edgar's dog happens to be an octopus. A particularly brilliant octopus at that. Meet Jarvis. Edgar's life is about to change forever. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Scholastic
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Martin McKenna Thanks Maggie! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for asking about the next book ... it's called THE CROCODOLLY and is listed here on Goodread…moreThanks Maggie! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for asking about the next book ... it's called THE CROCODOLLY and is listed here on Goodreads. It's available only in Aus/NZ and Asia as yet, but can be purchased worldwide through Fishpond. Hope you enjoy it! All the best.(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  698 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books

A pet octopus!!! How awesome is that?

Edgar had his heart set on a puppy though, so he tries again and again to teach his new octopus, Jarvis, how to be a dog. But Jarvis is Jarvis. He can’t be a dog. It’s not until after Jarvis leaves that Edgar sees what and who he lost. Can Edgar make it up to him? Will Jarvis forgive Edgar?

A fun, beautiful book about being yourself. And finding someone who will see and love you for all eight arms! :D

Several pages in this book are breathtakingly beautiful. The
Well I might as well tell you this book is called Octopuppy.

You're probably going to use the wrong name for this book at least once. Think about that.

This book is another example of the author trying to be cute for the grown-ups reading the book. So, if you are a grown-up the maybe you'll like it. Otherwise, no.

I was interrupted during the writing of this review by someone who wanted the phone number to Costa Rica.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I could have another life, I'd write and/or illustrate kids' books. What special people they must be to devise these entertaining, clever, beautiful, teachable books!

Octopuppy has great illustrations, especially the little details. (An Octopus with sandals!?) A fun story that playfully informs its readers to not force others to become what you think they should be. Let them be themselves with their own strengths.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's really weird but has a good message ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
Edgar wants a puppy, but instead gets Jarvis-the octopus. Edgar is quite disappointed in Jarvis' distinct non-puppiness, but soon learns that without Jarvis, he is quite unhappy.

Engaging, dry, funny, and silly all at the same time, this picturebook uses minimal text and ample illustrations to effectively tell this story. Digitally rendered, the illustrations range from small vignettes to a beautiful full page color spread of purples with silhouettes.

Really, a phenomenal book.
Sandra Guerfi
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The little boy in this book really wanted a puppy but got an octopus instead but maybe he can make do. Unfortunately for Jarvis the Octopus, he's not quite puppy material and his new owner seems frustrated and unhappy about his not being able to do anything but be himself. Can this work out or is this friendship doomed to be flushed out to sea? Wonderful story about learning to like people for who they are and not what we would have them be. The kids loved this one! ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Jarvis is a most unusual pet. When Edgar asked for a puppy, his parents got him an octopus instead. Jarvis doesn't do dog tricks, but has plenty of his own. Sadly, Edgar is not appreciative of this, especially when he's trying to get Jarvis to just act like a dog.
Jarvis and Edgar's attempts to appreciate each other are hilarious. One bit of advice, though...never try to juggle flaming torches while you're doing card tricks, no matter how many arms you have.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, z_15
Edgar's the kind of kid who looks like he should be in a Wes Anderson film. The book's slightly funny, slightly obscure, goofy, and depends upon you buying that this kid would stand and sigh and be disappointed in his clearly awesome pet octopus.

Entirely about some of the details in the illustrations, such as the square of Edgar standing in a rowboat caught up in tall waves to show a sea captain with an eye patch a missing octopus poster. That's just my jam.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
I love this picture book SO MUCH.
Julie Guzzetta
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
So adorable! Loved the story and the illustrations. Plus I read it at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so it was even better.
Maria Waltner
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jarvis the octopus has a hilariously human personality.
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Edgar longs for a puppy to train. Instead he gets an octopus. Working with Jarvis he finds the octopus is brilliant at so many things but not being a puppy... Will Edgar be happy with what he has or continue to long for what cannot be?

My nephew and I enjoyed this book. He didn't really get the point of the octopus as he felt it was ridiculous that an octopus was trying to be a puppy. Still we had fun reading the book together and lo
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Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an adorable picture book for all readers. Edgar really, really wanted a dog but instead he got Jarvis. Jarvis is an octopus. Edgar tries to take him on walks but that didn’t work at all! He just couldn’t do anything that a dog could do! However, Jarvis was definitely smart so Edgar just knew he would be able to train him; he just needs discipline. So Edgar attempts to train Jarvis to do dog tricks such as sit, fetch, play dead, and each time Edgar commands Jarvis to do something, Edgar d ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I spotted this on a shelf at Barnes & Nobles and figured it would be hilarious - and it didn't disappoint! Edgar is a little boy who wants a puppy - but instead gets Jarvis, an octopus. Edgar tried to make the most of the situation by attempting to teach Jarvis typical dog behaviors (sit! stay! roll over!) but of course Jarvis is an octopus - and a hilarious one at that! Edgar gets fed up with Jarvis not being a dog, and Jarvis runs away, but of course Edgar then misses him so much and sets out ...more
Brett Yoder
Getting to know someone new who is very different from you can be intimidating and uncomfortable. People often just want to stick with what they know because it is safe, easy, and will not cause them to stretch themselves as individuals. God calls us all to see each other for who He made us to be though. This truth shines through in this book as the boy who wants a puppy instead gets an octopus named Jarvis. Jarvis tries very hard to be everything that the boy wanted in a puppy, but he never liv ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture_books
In The Octopuppy by Martin McKenna, Edgar longs for a pet dog. Instead, he gets Jarvis: an enterprising, creative octopus with eight gangly arms. Jarvis only wants to please Edgar, but Edgar is so fixated on wanting a dog that he doesn't recognize Jarvis' unique, clever, and loyal spirit. When Jarvis goes missing, Edgar has a change of heart and sets out to find his friend. The cartoony illustrations evoke an endearing range of emotions, and young readers will delight in wacky details that ooze ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Edgar wants a dog, but gets Jarvis, an octopus, instead. Edgar tries to mold Jarvis into a dog, but Jarvis just can't fit into that mold. And why would he want to? He goes way beyond simple dog tricks and that "drove Edgar crazy." Unable to bear Edgar's disappointment, Jarvis flushes himself down the toilet. "I'm sorry I was a bad dog. Love, Jarvis." And that's when Edgar realizes his mistake and wants Jarvis back.

Hilarious illustrations highlight this story with a great message about friendship
Teresa Edmunds
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity-books
This is one of the most wonderful books I have read in a long time! Edgar wants a puppy for his birthday, but instead he gets Jarvis, an octopus. Edgar is sorely disappointed and proceeds to train Jarvis to be a dog. Though Jarvis tries, he can't be the dog Edgar wants him to be. In the end, Edgar learns that Jarvis is pretty fantastic just the way he is and is the perfect pet. The story has a sweet message and I wouldn't be surprised to see this book up for a Caldecott award next year. ...more
Nic Cote
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story, and beautifully illustrated. For me, this unique children’s book contains important reflections about appreciating and enjoying what one has. It also encourages the reader to be mindful to those close by, whose feelings can often be forgotten, while welcoming and celebrating the wonderful variety of characters we have in the world, and all that they have to offer. A humourous, heartwarming tale. We would love to see more of Octopuppy.
Kayla Edwards
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
An adorable story about a spoiled little boy who learns to be grateful for what he has - especially when he gets an octopuppy instead of a regular dog!
Cristian Tanuatmadja
poor jarvis :( you should be thankful for things that you have before you lose them
Robin Raines-Bond
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
LOL! Jarvis is not a very good dog, but he is an amazing cephalopod! I enjoyed this silly book about embracing who you are and loving your friends for who they are.
Rebecca Nevling
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-choices-5
The Octopuppy by Martin McKenna is about a boy who wanted a puppy but got an octopus instead. Unfortunately, Jarvis the Octopuppy is good at everything but being a puppy. He tries his best to do the things his new owner wants him to do. Yet, the boy is never happy. So, Jarvis leaves. This is a great book to teach children to appreciate what they have. Sometimes, we don't know what we have until it's gone. ...more
Camryn Constance
I enjoyed reading this book and thought it had a cute ending. The boy in the story wanted a puppy but ended up with an octopus. He tried to train the octopus to act like a dog and it didn't work. The boy was very frustrated and the Jarvis, the octopus, ended up leaving. The boy realized how much he loved and wanted Jarvis. A lot of children have pets and I feel the book would appeal best to these kids. ...more
The Brothers
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Edgar desperately wants a puppy and when is birthday rolls around he gets.... an octopus instead. At first this little octo-puppy-replacement is a bitter disappointment and embarrassment. Only when the octo-puppy runs away does Edgar realize the true wonder of his birthday gift.

Illustrations are awesome! I LOVE how the artist draws the octopus!
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
A boy wants a dog as a pet but gets an octopus instead. The octopus does amazing, ridiculous things, but the boy doesn’t appreciate them until the octopus flushes himself out to sea. They reunite once the boy regrets his behavior. I didn't love the illustrations, and I thought that this story was okay, but not really worth a reread.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-25-stars
3.25 Stars A very interesting way to talk about differences and getting along! It is also about being proud of who you are! Jarvis is a great Octopus, but maybe not just a great puppy! Embrace your strengths! The Sewer scene picture is going to haunt me but other than that, a fun read!
Cute. Would love a pet like Jarvis. The illustrations made me smile quite a bit. And Edgar's search and attempts to find Jarvis were great. Humor in this is a lot of fun. Half of it best seen in a lap-read or read-alone. But worth keeping around as a possible storytime. Definitely in school-age. ...more
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An illustrator and author for nearly thirty years, Martin McKenna has worked on books, games (board games, roleplaying games, and computer games), TV and film productions, as well as lots of other stuff. His latest books, 'The Octopuppy' and 'The Crocodolly' are the first picture books for children that he's both written and illustrated. ...more

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