Hello, My Name Is Octicorn

illus. by Binny Talib. 48p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062387936.
PreS-Gr 2—You've never heard of an octicorn? He's the offspring of an octopus and a unicorn, of course! Octi describes his life to readers in a matter-of-fact voice that belies the comic illustrations in this title. Octi believes his parents may have met at a costume party (where they each dressed as the other animal). But while his parents found each other and are happy, Octi feels very left out. He doesn't feel like he fits in on land or at sea. Octi is lonely, but he is also able to list all the things that make him unique and someone to be appreciated. The title character could be fun at parties, if he were ever invited—his tentacles make him a great juggler, his horn is perfect for ring toss. This story about how even the most unusual individuals long for friends will appeal to children. The text is fairly short and easy to read. The line drawings, in black and white with the occasional pop of color, are charming and amusing. Diller and Lowe use color to emphasize Octi's personality—the warmth Octi would show to a friend, if only someone would try.
VERDICT Children may start the book laughing at Octi's appearance, but they will be won over by his personality and will find him endearing in the end. A fun choice for storytime.

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