The Den That Octopus Built

The Den That Octopus Built
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
May 21, 2024
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Follow one of the ocean’s most mysterious animals in this warm but candid look at its dramatic life cycle, from the creators of The Nest That Wren Built.

These are the shells she wears like a sheath,
keeping her safe from Tiger Shark’s teeth
when she’s far from the den that Octopus built . . .

The solitary and ingenious octopus is a master of disguise and invention, creating her den out of the objects of the ocean, from shells and rocks to tiny glass shards. Using creative methods of hunting and construction, the octopus prepares for the biggest task of her life: motherhood. With one last, poignant gesture of love, the mother octopus sends her hatchlings on their way, starting a new cycle of life for the tiny offspring who face peril of their own. Offering deeply informative back matter, including an author’s note, a glossary, and fascinating “octo-knowledge” (did you know that octopuses have nine brains, including one in each of their independently operating arms?), this third in a series from author Randi Sonenshine and illustrator Anne Huntercontinues the work of gently introducing children to the reality of the animal world.

Editor review

1 review
Beautiful Read-Aloud
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
The Den That Octopus Built is written in short, rhyming verse, with the pattern, again, being a nod to The House That Jack Built, without the heavy repetition of that classic.

Readers of all ages gain insight into this intelligent creature, how their den supports them from one generation to the next, and both the beauty and danger in an Octopus's world.

The illustrations done by Hunter are ink and colored pencil on tinted paper, that are reminiscent of classic picture story books, but are still scientifically detailed and accurate.

The backmatter includes a glossary, fun octopus facts, and an authors note providing information on the exact octopus species she chose for this gentle ode to an extraordinary creature.

The repetitive structure makes for a satisfying read aloud, perfect for story time in any setting. I would recommend this book to octopus fans of any age.
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