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Gentle Giant Octopus: Read and Wonder

(Read, Listen and Wonder)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Follow a goggle-eyed octopus as she jets through the shadows, tentacles flying behind her. Finally she finds a well-hidden den in which to lay her eggs, which will dangle from the roof like grapes on a string. In silky verse, Karen Wallace explores the mysterious world of the octopus, while Mike Bostock’s flowing illustrations bring that world vividly to life.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 1998)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Zoe's Human
This is another one of those nonfiction juvenile books that has a picture book style. Lovely artwork and very informative. Might be a bit much for smaller and/or more sensitive kids since it covers the fact that this octopus dies after her eggs hatch.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I recently decorated my bathroom with pictures of sea monsters. One of the pictures is of a Kraken preparing to attack a sailing vessel. Turns out my nephew is terrified of octopuses, and my Kraken picture does not exactly leave him feeling encouraged to visit the bathroom! Obviously, this is not an ideal situation!

I don't want my nephew to fear octopuses. They are gentle, shy, curious, intelligent creatures, and they do not, as he believes, "eat people's heads." I am hoping that educating him
Sarah Sammis
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pc, read-in-2008
The giant octopus is the largest of the 150 species of octopuses. The largest one ever found had tentacles 15 feet long. Despite their size, they are rather docile creatures with the curiosity and intelligence of the average cat.

Gentle Giant Octopus by Karen Wallace and illustrated by Mike Bostock is an introduction to the life cycle of the giant octopus and follows a female octopus as she finds the perfect place to lay her brood of eggs. Giant octopus females lay eggs only once and lock
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Adding a review for re-read 2019. Just gorgeous illustrations and great information. I absolutely love this book.
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Maura loves octupi. I thought this book would be very dry but it was wonderfully written AND informative.
Courtney Lloyd
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: rdng-350
Gentle Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace, is a great book about a mother octopus. The book talks about many fun and interesting facts about an octopus. It talks about tentacles, how they have no bones, how they can change colors, and etcetera. The book continues and talks about how a mother octopus lays up to 60,000 eggs and then once she lays the eggs she does not sleep or eat until they are hatched. Once hatched the mother then dies.

The book has many different educational possibilities. It is
Norma Vantrease
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Today I am reviewing a children's picture book by Karen Wallace entitled Gentle Giant Octopus, written for children 4-8. Ms. Wallace captures a 'slice of life' image of a Giant female octopus searching for a place to make a den and lay her eggs. The story is both entertaining and informative.

Excitement builds as the search progresses, and the octopus is bit by a crab and looses part of an arm to a Wolf eel. But all is well when she finds just the right spot to make her den.

Female octopuses die
Rachel Coleman
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
"Gentle Giant Octopus" by Karen Wallace is a great nonfiction book that describes the life of an octopus. I found this book to be very fun and gives useful information about an octopus. I think this would be a great book to read to your students or have in your library. The illustrations were very well done and awesome for children to look at. I definitely recommend reading this book!
Mar 01, 2018 added it
Shelves: rdng350
This book describes the life of a pregnant giant octopus: swimming, finding a home, getting attacked and protecting herself, laying her eggs, caring for them, and watching them swim away. This book is a great way to explain how octopi are born. In my classroom, I can use this to talk about ocean animals, introduce cephalopods, and increase curiosity about octopi.
Marlina Serratos
Age 4-9 Grade Level PreK- 3rd

Gentle Giant Octopus is about the life of a curious sea creature with eight tentacles and a squishy body. I would read this to children who are younger as it gives them the opportunity to know more about others creatures and express their knowledge. I would use this book as part of a underwater theme lesson. Gentle Giant Octopus would also be a great read aloud.
Gentle Giant Octopus is a wonderful informational picture book that would be an excellent read aloud for students from kindergarten all they way to second grade. This book written by Karen Wallace and Illustrated by Mike Bostock follows a female octopus as she "jets" through the water, finds a place to lay her eggs, has her babies, and then her life cycle ends. This would be a great tool for units on ocean creatures, animals, or for introducing speech's or informational projects with younger ...more
Jenna Mills
As always informative and entertaining
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is educational, interesting, engaging, and beautiful to look at. The illustrations really wrap it all together. I love how they made the octopus's eggs look.
May 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: children-s-books
The way it is written is all prose. The children had a hard time connecting.
Sarri Tate Gibson
Quick summary

How I would use it

Age Level
This is a good book for early elementary aged kids.

Tells a story about an octopus which relays information to the reader about octopuses. Adds in additional pieces of information about them.

Good book for an marine unit.
This book was a little sad. The female giant octopus dies once her babies hatch. And although she lays about 60,000 eggs only 2 or 3 make it to adulthood.

We did learn a lot and the pictures were very well done. It was especially nice to see the illustrations of the eggs and how they develop.

There are two kinds of text. One is the 'gentle' story with a nice, soft feel to it. The other, in a different font, gives a bit more scientific information. It worked well in some parts, but in others it was
Cassie Houck
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is about the life cycle of a giant octopus. It begins with female octopus trying to find a place to lay her eggs, she faces many challenges along her way. It also has interesting facts about the life of an octopus in wavy text that is separate from the actual story of the octopus in the normal print.

The illustrations are beautiful, it did not sugar coat anything. The octopus dies and only 3 or 4 of the 60,000 babies survive, so its a little sad. It is very informative, which I liked.
Sep 13, 2016 added it
Shelves: rdng-350
This book is a nonfiction book that follows the life of an Octopus. It talks about how it eats, how it swims like a rocket ship, and how it gets scared of wolf eels. The pictures of this book were the best part to me. It captures the enormousness of the creature perfectly.

I really like this book. I'm a fan of Octopus so I liked seeing them explained so beautiful. This would be a great book to share with student when learning about sea life or how to help the environment (and what you hurt when
Jessica Sommers
Nov 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is about a Giant Octopus that is looking for a place to lay her eggs! Throughout the book it describes the physical characteristics of this creature and the different behaviors it has. This book also emphasizes the importance of where the octopus lays its eggs so they are safe from other predators.

My favorite aspect of this book were the pictures that went a long with the text.

This book would be perfect for a unit about under the sea creatures. It would be also good to show that even
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This was a cute, eductational book about giant Octopi. This book mainly covers what happens to a female Octopus when she is about to lay her eggs, but it also cover basic information like, changing colors or squeezing into small areas. This book has wonderful illustration and is written in a style that was almost rhyming. This would be a good book to use with younger children when covering sea life or something like that.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
An interesting book about giant octopi, an animal that we generally don't give much thought to at all. I learnt a lot about octopus behaviour, which is really quite astounding. I didn't know that they could regenerate their tentacles if they become damaged for instance. My 8 year old enjoyed reading the book with me, however he found the accompanying CD a bit too young for him (three of the four tracks consist of the book being read aloud in different formats, the fourth is an octopus song).
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: piper-s-books
Library book.

P absolutely loves this one, and no doubt we will soon be purchasing it for her as well. Its target audience is a lot older than toddler age, but she loves reference books, so thus we have many.

I was a bit put off by the constant reference to the impending death of the mother octopus, but I understand these things are needed in childrens' literature sometimes.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my niece & nephews (7, 5, & 2). This is a beautifully illustrated story of a mama octopus's life cycle. the writing is very nice - fun to read out loud. It is rather sad though, as it is realistic.
Marcie Master
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book goes through the life cycle of a GIANT octopus! I learned so many things I never knew! I think many students would not find this boring but informative and fun! I would love to have this is my future classroom
Shelbi Bishop
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
This book gives all kinds of information about octopus. I didn't know many things about them.

This book would be great for students to write a summary about it. They could talk about things they did and didn't know before reading the book.
Kellie O.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely book! Short non-fiction audiobooks/read-alouds are hard to come by, so I was eager to try this one out on my preschool class. The kids loved it! They asked for it often. The library had several like this in a series, I can't wait to go back and check out the others.
Maddie Taylor
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book goes through the life cycle of a GIANT octopus! I learned so many things I never knew! I think many students would not find this boring but informative and fun! I would love to have this is my future classroom!
Kim Foy
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book includes some very interesting facts about octupuses. They are curious like cats, there are 150 varities, and their eggs hang from the roof of a cave.
Melanie Swider Wenz
Good example of narrative nonfiction and to use as a mentor for informational writing - good example of how to write in a narrative "PBS" voice/way.
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