Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Gift Post--Eight Arms to Read With.

I'm shaking things up this week by doing our gift post on Friday, if for no other reason than I thought of something to write about. This week's post has us trend-spotting, and the trend this season seems to be octopus. Now I've understood the appeal of the owls, the ladybugs, the rubber ducks, and the sock monkeys. But if you asked me if folks would take to cartoon octopi, I would have not known what to say.

So we've got David-Kirk-drawn octopus tote bags and pails, plus luggage tags and head scratchers from Kikkerland. There's also a puppet, but alas, there's no room on the table. Here are a few book titles to round out the selection.

Even an Octopus Needs a Home, by Irene Kelly (Holiday House). Like many of these books, it's not a book on octopi per se, just about animals and their homes. So bats have caves, bees have hives, and crabs have shells.

Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease, by Rafe Sagarin (Basic). Sagarin is a marine ecologist and environmental policy analyst who looks at the natural world for solutions for human problems. As Sagarin's publisher notes, the same mechanisms that allow the octopus to avoid predators by mimicking a rock, and escape by squirting a cloud of ink can be adapted to human problems.

We also have a bargain edition of Jon Schieszka and Lane Smith's Cowboy and Octopus, and Eileen Prager's Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean's Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter. Coming in June is Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always, in which the two pals argue over whether their appendages needs socks (Squid) or mittens (Octopus) when it gets cold.

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