Octopus Stew by Eric Velásquez
Published: September 2019
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When our children were younger, we’d build forts, turn on flashlights to light up the night, and tell campfire-style stories right in the room our twins shared. Taking turns adding to this family crafted tale with thrilling twists, impossible feats, and great escapes. We’ve created characters and stories that we will never forget. That’s how Octopus Stew felt. Like a family story night that had turned into a fantastical adventure.
Ramsey’s Grandma decides to make octopus stew when the world suddenly turns upsidedown. Something was odd about the octopus. Ramsey knew it the moment he laid eyes on it in the grocery store. His radar for lurking danger hadn’t failed this caped hero. When his Grandma gets trapped in the octopus’s snare, will Ramsey have what it takes to save the day and dinner?
Eric Velasquez is an award-winning author/illustrator who you can tell is into superheroes. I mean Ramsey and his dog are both wearing capes. What I like best though about his work is Ramsey’s hair. That afro is stellar! Better still is his family on the foldout pages. There is love and the joy of family togetherness on those pages. While its front cover with Grandma and Ramsey standing awestricken in the ominous shadow of an octopus captured my attention, it’s Ramsey’s retelling of how it all went down that kept me turning the pages. I also appreciate that the text is peppered with Spanish vocabulary. There’s a glossary at the end and a recipe for octopus stew. I agree with the recommendation for ages 4-8 but what a great family read for all ages.
Eric Velasquez | http://www.ericvelasquez.com/
Holiday House | https://holidayhouse.com/
Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Find Octopus Stew at your local indie bookstore:
Amazon: Octopus Stew