Sunday, April 18, 2010

Enjoy Adventures Under Sea With The Octonauts

I realize this post is probably beyond my realm of expertise but I write about what I like and I like the Octonauts, a series of children’s books from Meomi, a design company made up of one Vancouver resident and one Los Angeles resident. A cross border partnership I guess you could say.

I can’t take the credit for finding this one on my own. Back in my pre Olympic days when I was focused 24/7 on going to Vancouver 2010 and blogging all about it, I got an email from Immedium. They are a publisher located in California for The Octonuats book series. They thought I would be interested in the books because they are written and illustrated by Meomi, a company comprised of partners Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy. Meomi is the company that designed the Vancouver 2010 mascots, who I’m sure you love as much as I do (mark my words I will marry Quatchi one day). Since The Octonauts were not directly related to the Olympics themselves, I didn’t see a story there for my Journey to Vancouver 2010 blog. I did however think it would be perfect for Not A Shopaholic. The idea for this post was born months ago and I’m finally putting the words into writing now.

When Immedium emailed me, they included PDF versions of the first two books; The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster and The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade. The first thing that stood out for me was the beautiful illustrations. I loved the combination of colours and the undersea world that was being created. It seemed so realistic and possible that these characters could actually exist. I found myself wanting to be friends with them. The characters are adorable and have cool names like "Professor Inking" who is an octopus oceanographer, and "Captain Barnacles Bear" the polar bear leader of the Octonauts group. I found the writing to be intelligent and rhythmical, the funny names rolled right off the tongue.  Each story contains good life lessons for children.  I would say for adults it serves as a good reminder for some basic lessons we may have forgotten along the way.

Book cover for The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster

The first book sees the characters fleeing their underwater Octopod when they think it is under attack. They quickly find out that it is not the case and embark on a worldwide undersea adventure to reunite a stranded animal with its own kind. In doing so they become friends and realize there is something unique about each of them.

A page excerpt from the first book

What a great collection to give to a child as a gift to get them and keep them interested in reading. The series is a must have for any children’s book collection. In a world where we are so electronic based, it’s wonderful to see such interesting, creative stories being written for children with stunning illustrations. For my next friend that has a baby, guess what you’re getting as a gift!

Other titles in the Meomi Octonauts Series are:

The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade
The Octonauts and the Frown Fish
The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef

All titles are available for purchase in Canada, both through stores and online at Amazon and Chapters/Indigo. Internationally the books are available through publisher Harper Collins UK. According to The Octonauts website, the series is going to be developed into an animated TV show. How cool is that?  Watch these quirky lovable characters come to life on TV at some point throughout 2010.

The Octonauts have a whole website dedicated to them. Visit the website for a more detailed summary of the book titles or to download some "Octogoodies" (their word not mine) like colouring pages.

Feel free to share your opinions on The Octonauts with us. You can leave a comment here on the blog or on the Facebook group page for Not A Shopaholic. I look forward to hearing from you.

Photos used are from the Octonauts website.  Thank you Amy for finding me and sending me The Octonauts information.

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