Text : Yoko Tomiyasu 富安陽子
Illustrations : Shinbo Minami 南伸坊
Published : 2019
Personal recommendation : 3-5 years old and up
One of the things we Japanese love to eat but others in the world don’t so much is TAKO (Octopus = たこ)! Thus, Character of TAKO in general is quite loved by Japanese people. Well, this is the book where Mr. Octopus comes to boy’s house from Ocean and they experience boy’s daily life together. Some may not believe, but at the end of this book, readers (and many parents) can realize the hear-warming feeling they have post-reading. It has quite lots of character so if parents read for kids, 3-5 years old are perfect. If the kids read themselves, 5 years and older might be a good age for this book.
The story begins with the scene where octopus crawled from harbor and came to boy’s house. “Knock, Knock” “Who is this?” A boy looking thru the gap of door while keeping the chain-lock locked and here it is. TAKOYAN (=Mr. Octopus) standing outside of door and waving one of TAKO’s tentacles, saying “Hi, I am TAKOYAN. Wanna play?” As he felt a bit creepy, Boy tried to turn down by saying “I am busy playing videogame now” TAKOYAN said “Oh Fun! Let me play!” and sneaking in from tiny gap of the door with his soft/flexible-body. With 8 of tentacles, TAKOYAN ended up nailing the highest score and friendship between TAKOYAN and boy was established.
TAKOYAN and Boy went to the park and found boy’s friends were playing soccer. “Can we join?”said a Boy. “Yeah but not Octopus” “Come-on, TAKOYAN can sure play I believe. Let’s see.. Well let him play goalie perhaps??” “… okay….” Soon, boys found out TAKOYAN is one heck of goalie due to 8 long tentacles, spread the tentacle like spider web to block the goal space etc. TAKOYAM became a here among the boys.
Later on, the middle-aged unhappy man bringing also un-happy bulldog with the leash in the park. Mean-looking man said to kids “Go away Boys. It is time to train my dog!” One boy pointed out the “no dog allowed” sign in the park and said “…but sir… here, it says no dog allowed…” but the middle-aged man didn’t even try to listen to boys. Then, TAKOYAN sneaking up close to the dog and sprayed black ink out of his mouth over dog’s face. Surprised dog rushing out of the park by dragging the middle-aged man by leash! TAKOYAN became true hero and friend with boys.
Getting darker outside and it is time to say good bye. TAKOYAN, with his 8 tentacles, gave BIG hug to each of boys and walked back to the shore. Boy waving his arms shouting “TAKOYAN, See you! Let’s play again!” and TAKOYAN raise one of his tentacles from ocean water surface and waved back good-bye. End of story.
The last page was quite sentimental (Boy and TAKOYAN was described as shadow only due to sunset) but I felt like I just watched nice kids’ movie or something after reading. It is relatively new book but no wonder it became quite popular after release. 😊
You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら
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