Book Review: Squid and Octopus Friends for Always

Author/Illustrator: Tao Nyeu
Publisher: Penguin (June 28, 2012)
Audience: Preschool to Age 7
Source: Personal Copy
Friendship * Early Reader * Humor * Picture Book

Description from GoodReads:
A friend for always is someone who... knows how to cheer you up when you're feeling droopy, usually sees things your way, and never lets a quarrel get out of hand. As you'll see in these endearing, silly stories, a friend for always is the very best thing in the deep blue sea.

My thoughts on the book:
LOVE.  I am in love with this book.  When I first read this as a F & G back in February, I knew I had to have it.  Imagine your favorite early reader friendship pairs - Mouse & Mole, Frog & Toad, Elephant & Piggie - now add in Squid and Octopus. This not exactly a regular picture book and not truly an early reader will appeal to the audience who loves all those other great friendships. I love this quirky, hilarious pair and I already want more.

As with any early reader, the story of Squid & Octopus is told in four shorter stories.  And they are all great.

I am a little partial to The Quarrel where Squid and Octopus argue over socks and mittens.  

I loved the simplicity of the color theme that flows throughout the book but there is incredible detail in Nyeu's artwork.  I also really enjoyed all of the little side comments sprinkled throughout the book. From above: Fish 1 - Do you think that is carrot cake? I love carrot cake. Fish 2 - I prefer pumpkin pie.

In The Dream, guess who is lurking behind the flip page - Bear and the bunnies from Bunny Days

The Hat was another one of my favorite short stories in the book.  The conversations among the diners at Yum Yum's is hilarious.  

And here are my little fish friends again as they try to figure out what is on the heads of Squid and Octopus.   

I am hoping that you can see from both the text and illustrations why Squid and Octopus Friends for Always is one of my top picks for this year.  I want more Squid and Octopus and hope that Nyeu isn't finished writing about these two friends. 

If you haven't seen Squid and Octopus, you need to head over to your favorite Indie Bookstore to pick up a copy or local library, or order it from

For more information about Tao Nyeu: websitepublisher's page

Check out the book trailer for Bunny Days: