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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
The Angry Octopus by Lori Lite is, as you might have guessed from the title, the story about an octopus who becomes angry when some lobsters make a mess of his garden which he had decorated with shells and rocks. But, lucky for him and young readers, a sea child swims along and teaches him a breathing and muscle relaxation exercise to help him become calm instead of angry. Mike Stasuyk’s illustrations are sweet. The octopus looks friendly and so does the sea child. The sea child is a patient teacher, so the adults reading this story, the children it is being read to, and, of course, the octopus, can all learn to breathe deeply, relax their muscles, and become calm together.
Lori Lite’s The Angry Octopus teaches readers, and those to whom it is read, how to relax their muscles by tensing them and holding their breath and then releasing muscles and breath in a progression up the body. It’s a bit odd to think about an octopus having hands and feet and shoulders, but it works in this story. Plus the octopus makes friends with a sea child (who looks a lot like a mermaid) after she teaches him these helpful techniques. Mike Stasuyk’s art is delightful. I especially enjoyed the expressions on the octopus’s face. The purpose of the book is to help children gain control over how they feel, both emotionally and physically, by doing these simple steps.