Monday, 10 June 2013

#ReadItMD13 - Licensed Characters in Books - A review of "The Octonauts Explore The Great Big Ocean" by Meomi (HarperCollins Children's Books)

There are now so many Octonauts books that it might've escaped most people's notice that books actually spawned the TV series, not the other way around.

So it's great to go back to the originals and find out a lot more about the intrepid team tasked with protecting our oceans. Captain Barnacle, Kwaazi, Dashii, Peso and the crew explore the great big ocean in this fabulous hardbacked book.

Looking at the original Meomi books, it's really nice to see that the bulk of the themes and content made it to the small screen relatively intact, as did the fabulous art style that is Meomi's trademark (Meomi btw are a talented duo consisting of Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy, designers and illustrators par excellence who also happen to know how to spin a fantastic ocean-going story or two).

Each double page spread is absolutely chock full of little details. Factual stuff about the various species that live under the lapping waves, and a goodly dose of fiction (Try explaining to a five year old that there isn't actually a creature that is a kelp / chocolate hybrid and kelp isn't actually as tasty as it looks!)

The Octonauts have always taken the Japanese "Kawaii" cuteness as a design cue, and that's wholly present here in this book. For any Octonauts fans, this is absolutely the best place to start if you want to move them beyond the small screen and get them into reading a great storybook.

Charlotte's best bit: The huge and fabulous "glow in the dark" spread with all the deep-dwelling ocean creatures gently pulsing away

Daddy's favourite bit: A lovely little nod in here for Commodore 64 fans. I almost wish the thing was called the "Comm-Adore!"