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Excerpt from Cowboy & Octopus by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.
"Do you like my new hat?" says Cowboy.
"Wow," says Octopus. "That is really...um...different. Do you like my new hat?"
Cowboy says, "Nope."
"Hey!" says Octopus. "I said something nice to you. Why don't you say something nice to me? I thought we were friends."
"We are friends," says Cowboy. "And that's why I am telling you-your new hat looks like somthing my horse dropped behind him. 'Cause that's the truth."
And so concludes one of the funniest and sweetest bromances in all of children's literature, the enduring friendship between Octopus & Cowboy in the children's picture book Cowboy & Octopus. Most everyone has read a Jon Scieszka book in their lifetime. His contributions to children's literature, and most notably, the movement to get boys and guys reading, are well known and celebrated. But even if you loved The Stinky Cheese Man or just can't get enough of the Trucktown trucks from Design Garage, there's a good chance you have never given Cowboy & Octopus a try. Trust me, this is one you don't want to miss.
Cowboy is a paper doll, and Octopus was cut from a comic book; they're just like two peas in a (cephalo-) pod... Well, maybe not, but they are really good friends. They do nice things for each other -- like when Cowboy cooks a fine repast of "Beans and Bacon, Bacon and Beans, and just plain Beans" for Octopus, who likes neither beans nor bacon, but "licks one bean" nonetheless. They also entertain one another, and they tell each other the truth. Quirky humour + off-the-wall mixed media illustrations = one wonderfully wacky package from the duo who brought you The Stinky Cheese Man.
This book CRACKS me up!!! Maybe I just have a weird sense of humor? Then my daughter starts giggling because I am. Just wish they didn't use the word "dang" so much.
If you're going to dislike any of the books I recommend, it will probably be this one. It's totally absurd and surreal, or as my husband puts it, "freakin' awesome." We have never laughed harder at a children's book than when we saw the Halloween costume on Octopus. But if you're more comfortable with sweet and classic than zany, you may want to skip this one. (Don't skip if you've disliked other Scieszka, give it a chance.)
My family has loved this book for years. I even made an adult friend sit and listen while I read it to my son and we all couldn't stop laughing. Classic absurdity!
Only Jon Scieszka could have come up with this. His picture book is a gonzo version of children's friendship tales like Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad and James Marshall's George and Martha.
Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/cowboy_and_octopus_scieszka
This book is super weird, and a little creepy at times, but I laughed my butt off! There's no cohesive story line but Cowboy and Octopus get into plenty of zany situations. I read this to a group of fourth graders and they loved it.
So bizarre, so amusing.
A great book to read aloud, (dead-pan) Octopus, and (Texas drawl) Cowboy are fun characters to enact. An utterly hilarious pairing and a delightfully absurd concept.
What a great book by the excellent Scieszka. The story is a little jumpy, but it definitely brought lots of smiles and giggles. I like the paperdoll cowboy effect too.
I stumbled upon this book while checking out online video book reviews for something completely unrelated. The mixed media illustrations are great, and the humour is almost deadpan...For the unconventional child!