The perfect pants are hard to find

for someone shaped like me...

No matter how hard he tries, Octopus cannot find any underwear to fit. He tries every shop from Clam Closet to the Under-Sea Emporium which claims to sell everything, but to no avail. Onesies for urchins- yes. Slipper socks for seals- yes. Underpants for an octopus- no! 

Just as he is about to give up, Octopus realises he needs to consider his problem from another angle...

Bright, bold illustrations combine with fun, bouncy text resulting in a very appealing story which is a joy to read aloud. Octopus has the most expressive face and each spread is full of little details to discover. The puffer fish quickly became a favourite character with my class who felt he should have a story of his own next time!

The story is great fun, but when I read it to my Year 6 class, it led to some very interesting discussions about how to look at 'problems' and find creative solutions. Several of them guessed where the rhyme was going and enjoyed trying to think of alternative rhyming endings for different pieces of clothing! 

Some of the children also engaged in quite a heated discussion about the importance of being comfortable being who you are and not being expected to conform just because all the other fish were wearing pants. The shop keepers' attitude was particularly contentious- laughing at the problem was not approved of!  It was fascinating to hear where the story led them. Who says picture books are just for the youngest children?!

Having said that, this is the perfect story to engage a younger class as well. With plenty of laughs and sections of rhyme to join in with, it is sure to become a firm favourite at story time or could be used linked to a topic about the sea. The fabulous illustrations show many marine creatures which could be researched (without their pants, onesies, bobble hats and evening wear!)

Octopants   Suzy Senior, illustrated by Claire Powell

Little Tiger   ISBN: 978-1848699359