Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez
Who Its For: Kids
Eric Velasquez (winner of the Pura Belpre Award for Grandma’s Gift and the Coretta Scott King -John Steptoe Award for Piano Man) has written a charming story about an Afro-Latino boy named Ramsey. One day at Grandma’s, Ramsey, an artist and lover of all things superhero, paints a picture of “super Octo”, a superhero octopus. This got Grandma thinking about making pulpo guisado, octopus stew. They go shopping for the ingredients, which included one large and creepy octopus! Ramsey has a bad feeling about this, but home they go where Grandma cleans the octopus and throws it into the boiling pot. They sit down to do some homework when suddenly they hear strange noises coming from the kitchen! BLIMP! BLUMP! BRR! “Que sera esto?” asks Grandma. THUMP!! To their horror, they find a HUGE octopus climbing out of the pot and with one tentacle it snatches up Grandma! How will Ramsey defeat the mighty octopus and save her? This story will delight all your superhero and octopus fans; check out the foldout pages in the middle of the book and the Author’s Notes for extra layers to the story (or read to the end first), and don’t miss the Glossary in the back, as the author uses many nonstandard Spanish phrases throughout the story, just as his own family did in his childhood home.