Are you looking for a book that celebrates being different? Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller illustrated by Justin Lowe is a story that takes you the life of Octi (as he likes to be called), a creature that is half unicorn and half octopus. Octi is looking for a friend but is constantly left out because he looks different. He is not like all of the other octopuses because he has a horn. He not like all of the other unicorns because his body is like an octopus. He is left out of parties and feels lonely and seeks friendship with others. Throughout the book, Octi talks about all of his expertise such as juggling, ring toss, sports, dancing, swimming and of course, making the best s’mores. Although, his best attribute is his ability to give the best hugs with his four tentacles. At the end of the book, Octi asks the reader, Will You Be My Friend? It’s up to the reader then to respond!
I loved this book because the illustrations were simple yet engaging and full of expression. This book can be helpful for children who feel different or left out at times and struggle finding friendships with others. It can also be helpful in teaching children empathy and perspective taking (e.g “What does if feel like to be Octi?”). Octi is a likeable, funny and sweet character that can help open up a meaningful conversation about “What makes someone a good friend?” with your child. The most important lesson from this book is that we all need love and friendship. Without being connected to others, we can feel lonely and sad. This book can help support including others and seeing the positive traits in other people regardless of what they look like on the outside.
Carryover Activities: Print out Octicorn here!
Vocabulary words and specific phrases to define for your child: rare, fitting in, full of themselves, nobody’s business, feeling blue, tricky, plankton, awaiting, reply.
Discussion Questions: Why does Octicorn feel different? How is he similar and different than other creatures? Would you like to be friends with Octicorn? Why or why not? Have you ever felt left out? What could you do to make Octi feel better?
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