Voake, Charlotte. Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets. Candlewick Press, 2015. Unp. $16.99. ISBN 9780763674816. Ages2-6. P6Q6
There are good reasons why most of us didn’t grow up with exotic animals as pets. In Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets, Charlotte Voake, the author and illustrator of the Ginger series, demonstrates these reasons. We learn that while exotic animals can be beautiful, they can also be messy, clumsy, or downright dangerous. The story is quite simple and the animals chosen to be featured were expected—except for the worm. Easily identified animals are comforting to young readers; however, more exotic choices would expose young readers to previously unknown creatures. Voake uses vibrant watercolors and dramatic lines to create interesting texture in her depictions of these most unsuitable pets. June 2015 review by Lillian Curanzy.