Author: Velasquez, Eric
Ramsey dons his superhero cape to rescue Grandma from the huge octopus she is trying to cook--or is he simply telling a story? Includes author's note on the story's origin and a recipe for Octopus stew.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2019 K-Gr 2—Ramsey is an Afro-Latino kid with a robust imagination. As he finishes an oversize painting of an octopus, he inadvertently, and to his despair, inspires his grandmother to cook octopus stew. As soon as they are back from the market with a huge, live cephalopod, Grandma sets an ever bigger pot with boiling water for the unfortunate octopus. From this point on, anything could happen. Pura Belpré and Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe honor winner Velasquez will surprise primary grade readers with a story that is as fascinating and hilarious as it is absurd. The English text intertwines with Spanish phrases that provide a multicultural approach and validates the boy's family background. The vibrant paintings, done in oils, strike the eye with large and expressive characters. The setting is highlighted by shades of blue, mustard, and orange that course throughout the pages and add a lively tone to the story. VERDICT A hilarious read-aloud that could be read during a storytime. The back matter contains author's notes, a glossary of Spanish words used in the book, and a recipe for octopus stew.—Kathia Ibacache, Simi Valley Public Library, CA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2019 When Ramsey’s art inspires his grandma to make pulpo guisado (octopus stew), they have no idea that bringing home the biggest octopus from the market will lead to an even bigger adventure. As they wait for it to boil, strange noises come from the kitchen. They investigate, only to find a gigantic octopus, very much alive, which escapes the pot and grabs Grandma. Using smartphone research, art, and his superhero cape, Ramsey manages to rescue her, and he makes a larger-than-life friend along the way. Midway through, an inventive section folds out into a quadruple-page spread, revealing that this whole story is being told by Ramsey to his gathered Afro-Latinx family. Realistic oil paintings bring to life the action and excitement of encountering a giant octopus. Important cultural notes are detailed in the story and pictures through an emphasis on art, storytelling, musical instruments, and more. Spanish dialogue mixes fluidly into the primarily English text, with a glossary providing definitions and pronunciations of Spanish terms. Happily, Velasquez also includes a recipe for octopus stew. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.