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Also An Octopus
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Also An Octopus

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  550 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Even the most totally awesome story starts with a little bit of nothing. What happens next is up to you! A delightfully meta picture book that will set imaginations soaring.

It begins with an octopus who plays the ukulele. Since this is a story, the octopus has to want something—maybe to travel to faraway galaxies in a totally awesome purple spaceship. Then the octopus sets
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published March 8th 2016)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  550 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This "little bit of nothing" phrase about how/what a story starts with is fantastic. And so is the book.
Vera Godley
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first glance upon picking up Also An Octopus one thinks, "Oh! Another adorable kiddie picture book." But then upon delving into this first-time author's debut (redundant, huh!) book, there is a bit more meat to the story than cutsie octopuses and kiddies and fantastic folks in unreal places.

Now we don't want to overthink a kid's book because that might just take away from the fun of reading. But what is the harm in discovering that the "rest of the story" is the beginning of the story or the
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Another 'meta' book. Or, better, a book to inspire the reader to come up with his own stories. Just start with "a little bit of nothing...."

I can understand the high ratings, but, today at least, this didn't wow me. Too long before the reader is actually invited in, maybe. Or maybe I just can't suspend disbelief for an octopus sitting on a street corner without at least a helmet of water. You'll probably like the book better.
This book has everything Aiden loves: rocket ships, a ukulele playing octopus, and waffles. Need I say more?
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book by Maggie Tokuda-Hall about telling stories, showing kids how adding different elements together can make a story. The illustrations were bold with vibrant colours, and amusing; the carrot rocket was cute, and I liked the octopus' red toque.
Good for helping kids with creative writing, or just being creative in general. Adorable art.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting way to introduce how to create a story. Loved the illustrations and that the author encourages imagining options and future adventures.
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I picked up this book for my great-niece to build up her library, but I was not expecting a great story about how anyone can write a story and that no idea is too silly. In fact, this book would actually help an aspiring young author by showing the steps they need to go through to actually write the story.

I do love how the book starts: "Every story starts the same way...with nothing." It s true, every story that any author has written started with nothing to very little other than a dream to
The idea that all stories begin with "A little bit of nothing" is a wonderful, unintimidating way to introduce story writing to students. As it is, I will be reading this book to my 8th graders to kick off NaNoWriMo.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Age: Preschool+

Such a darling, inspirational book for any young writer that just doesn't know how to start. Perfectly introduces the components of a story including characters, plot, and resolution. Silly without being demeaning. Perfect to be used as a writing prompt in the classroom.
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Guess what just got added to our "Exceptional Picture Books of 2016" list.....this guy!

See for yourself!
Jillian Heise
A charming book that would be great to introduce the idea of stories and plot and imagination. It all starts with a little bit of nothing, and adding in some crazy ideas leads to unexpected results.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Also An Octopus, explores the process behind building a story. Readers will bounce along with delight as a friendly octopus gets built right into a story. Add in a ukulele, a sandwich, a friend and a purple spaceship; you get the beginnings of a story. But what happens when the spaceship doesn’t work? You add an in a bunny. But what happens when it all becomes a mess? You begin again, and let your imagination soar. A charming story teaching children and students the importance of how starting ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ece-2nd
What are the things every story needs? A character, of course! Who will the character be though? And what will the character want? In this adorable debut, Tokuda-Hall introduces us to her imagination, where we meet an ukulele playing Octopus, who will bring out giggles from the stubbornest of readers (children and adults alike). This book adds an extra level by discussing the parts of a story, including characters, plot, and of course, a resolution--but that all stories start with a little bit ...more
Hannah-Grace Freeman
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Also an Octopus is a fun children's book that emphasizes the beauty and importance of imagination! This book begins by explaining that every story starts with nothing, and goes on to elaborate all of the exciting and imaginative things that Octopus wants to do! Since every story starts with nothing, you can create your own story!

I loved this book, and the uniqueness it holds! I had never read a children's book like this, as it emphasizes the importance of individual imagination and dreams!

Tracy Morton
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The illustrations were cool in this book. The story was ok. I think that children would like it more that I did though. It has it's humorous moments. There is talk of a rocket ship so it could be used as part of a space storytime.
Kris Dersch
So cute and who doesn't love a purple rocketship? The writer in me wanted a little more to the process and the ending but you can't help but smile when you think of writing as starting with nothing and ending with an opening for the next story.
Villain E
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A story about how stories are structured. Recommended for little aspiring writers.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Straight up I love this book, it is delightful.

But the book isn't really for me, I am also pleased to report that my 2.5 year old is also really into it, which is much more important than my tick of approval.

I read way too much children's books and this is by far one of my favourites. I'm always super happy when my daughter wants me to read it to her.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
"But that ukulele-playing octopus with intergalactic dreams can't just GET a shining purple spaceship, from say, the drugstore."
Every story starts the same way... with nothing.

And that is how the book starts. And that is, next to our ukelele playing octopus, a running theme through the book. Making a story, making your own ending.

I didn't expect it, that is what I can say, I thought this book would be solely about octopuses, but instead I got much much more. I didn't only get an octopus, I didn't only get rockets (though I definitely approve of rockets), but I also got a fun book about how to make your own story.

I had
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A picture book about the magic of creating stories, exploration, friendship and having fun. A delight!
Kristina Jean Lareau
A silly story of nothing but with great illustrations.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun instruction on the writing process with lots of entertaining silliness. I especially enjoyed the bright funny illustrations.
Alex Kartak
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-lit
I was not sure what to expect from this book based off the title, but I was thoroughly pleased with the outcome. I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book and how relaxed the storytelling was. I also enjoyed how well the author and the illustrator collaborated; It almost seemed like the illustrator wrote the story in a sense and the author just wrote around the pictures. I thought that this book showed a little bit into a child's mind because there were many different things happening in ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I spotted this at the library and picked it up solely because the illustrator shares a name with my little one :-) plus, judging by the cover, it looked like a winner! An octopus eatin a waffle, with a rabbit, crab, rocket plans, and a ukelele among other things - just begged the question what was going to happen here? I loved the unique take on the plot - showing children that every story begins with just random ideas, and can lead anywhere! This one was quite goofy, with perfectly colorful and ...more
This is a book is the story of an octopus. The octopus wants to build a super awesome purple spaceship. But how? He tries many different things to build his spaceship including waffles and even carrots. But he realizes that he need expert rocket scientist to help him! This is the story of the octopus's journey getting to space!! I like this because of its creativity and imagination. It was silly and had a cute little bunny. I would use this book to spark creativity in the classroom. I would have ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
After my parent's and I watched a PBS Nature special called "Octopus: Making Contact" I had to see what my library had in terms of picture books on our 'alien friend' the octopus: and that's when Maggie Tokuda-Hall's "Also an Octopus" popped up!

Fun, adorable, original and motivating even for the 26 year-old woman, the book is the perfect bedtime, breakfast time, car-pool-lane-time, tuning-your-ukulele-time tale! There is nothing to despise about the book, and the readers of all ages can reap the
Mary Ann
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
What does it take to build a story? Do you need a magic formula, or can anyone do it? In Also an Octopus, Maggie Tokuda-Hall encourages young storytellers, showing them that every story begins with "just a little bit of nothing."

With whimsy and delight, Tokuda-Hall shows young readers the writing process, introducing introducing story elements key to successful conflict and resolution. Her energetic language and playful premise are matched by Davies' bright digital artwork.

Read my full review at
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Don’t get me wrong: I love that there is a meta picture book for children about storytelling and letting your imagination run wild. But the words and pictures alone don’t quite feel like a complete book by itself, and the book wasn’t overtly interactive; it didn’t really encourage the reader to physically write or draw on its pages. That sort of made it seem like the book couldn’t quite decide which end of the spectrum it wanted to exist on. For the most part I enjoyed the illustrations and the ...more
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