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Cowboy & Octopus

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Peanut butter and jelly. George and Martha. Frog and Toad. Cowboy and . . . Octopus? Yes, that's right. Meet Cowboy and Octopus--the next great pair to become a household name. Cowboy likes beans'n'bacon and bacon'n'beans. Octopus eats raw seafood. Octopus prefers knock-knock jokes, but Cowboy doesn't get them. How will these two ever be friends? Illustrated in funky, vint Peanut butter and jelly. George and Martha. Frog and Toad. Cowboy and . . . Octopus? Yes, that's right. Meet Cowboy and Octopus--the next great pair to become a household name. Cowboy likes beans'n'bacon and bacon'n'beans. Octopus eats raw seafood. Octopus prefers knock-knock jokes, but Cowboy doesn't get them. How will these two ever be friends? Illustrated in funky, vintage-style cut-outs and told in several humorous mini-stories, the famous Stinky Cheese Man duo of Scieszka and Smith have created sweet--and of course hilarious--tales of an unlikely friendship. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.


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Peanut butter and jelly. George and Martha. Frog and Toad. Cowboy and . . . Octopus? Yes, that's right. Meet Cowboy and Octopus--the next great pair to become a household name. Cowboy likes beans'n'bacon and bacon'n'beans. Octopus eats raw seafood. Octopus prefers knock-knock jokes, but Cowboy doesn't get them. How will these two ever be friends? Illustrated in funky, vint Peanut butter and jelly. George and Martha. Frog and Toad. Cowboy and . . . Octopus? Yes, that's right. Meet Cowboy and Octopus--the next great pair to become a household name. Cowboy likes beans'n'bacon and bacon'n'beans. Octopus eats raw seafood. Octopus prefers knock-knock jokes, but Cowboy doesn't get them. How will these two ever be friends? Illustrated in funky, vintage-style cut-outs and told in several humorous mini-stories, the famous Stinky Cheese Man duo of Scieszka and Smith have created sweet--and of course hilarious--tales of an unlikely friendship. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.

30 review for Cowboy & Octopus

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I have missed reading Jon Scieszka's work, such as The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Battle Bunny and other books. I heard Scieszka read to several hundred people at a conference (I think was The Math Curse) and I thought he was one of the best stand-up comedians I had ever heard. I laughed till I cried. I thought until then that picture book authors were just these warm hug guys. Scieszka took grad classes in literary theory on the way to a graduate degree, and taught elementary schoo I have missed reading Jon Scieszka's work, such as The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and Battle Bunny and other books. I heard Scieszka read to several hundred people at a conference (I think was The Math Curse) and I thought he was one of the best stand-up comedians I had ever heard. I laughed till I cried. I thought until then that picture book authors were just these warm hug guys. Scieszka took grad classes in literary theory on the way to a graduate degree, and taught elementary school kids during the day. He thought kids could understand the humor of contemporary postmodern theory, which he worked into his kids books, with a dose of absurdism and just a wacky sense of humor. I this tale, two unlikely and very different friends have a series of adventures related in short anecdotes. One is about Octopus going as a Shark for Halloween. Cowboy makes beans for Octopus, who hates beans. Knock knock jokes. "We are friends," says Cowboy. "And that's why I am telling you--your new hat looks like something my horse dropped behind him. 'Cause that's the truth." If you think that humor is stupid, you are right. But I think this guy is refreshingly funny. My middle grade kids like it, too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    The unlikely friendship of a cut-out doll Cowboy and a culled comic strip Octopus has an inconceivable variety of manifestations and mishaps. The author/illustrator duo of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith portrays but an infinitesimal series of events which involve the mismatched “pardners.” Delving into such sequences as the initial meeting betwixt Cowboy and Octopus (wherein they “shake hands... and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, an The unlikely friendship of a cut-out doll Cowboy and a culled comic strip Octopus has an inconceivable variety of manifestations and mishaps. The author/illustrator duo of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith portrays but an infinitesimal series of events which involve the mismatched “pardners.” Delving into such sequences as the initial meeting betwixt Cowboy and Octopus (wherein they “shake hands... and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands.”), attempt to bestow plebeian gastronomic experiences upon one exiled from a vastly different culture (the proffering of bacon-&-bean-themed dishes from the Westerner to the oceanic), and affirm/accept the variant notions of humour which defines them as individuals (or, the incomprehensibility of the classic “knock-knock” joke when told to the uninitiated). Sadly, aside from the droll pairing and surreal artistry which defines the book, the creativity and humour come to a distinctive halt. For all intent and purpose, the non-sequitur “odd couple” may as well be, say, Che Guevara & Giraffe, or Pharmacist & Burlington, Vermont. Neither cultural caricature presents any strength of character aside from the obvious differentiating factors of the land-based mammal versus multi-appendaged vita aquatic. As far as re-readability goes, this book falls flat. The predictable nature of the short anecdotes presented herein lend no intellectual gratification, and become assuredly less entertaining the second time around. This book is best left to the pre-grammar school crowd, or to those similarly skilled in reading the English written word.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "'Do you like my new hat?' says Cowboy. 'Wow,' says Octopus. 'That is really... um... different. Do you like my new hat?' Cowboy says, 'Nope.'" At first glance, I thought this book would be getting 1 or 2 stars from me. It looked really bizarre.... and it is. It's as funny as it is bizarre though, and I was laughing more and more the further into it I got. It is 5 stars hilarious! It has these strange illustrations that include cut-out images, real photos, and bright colors. It has hilarious dialog "'Do you like my new hat?' says Cowboy. 'Wow,' says Octopus. 'That is really... um... different. Do you like my new hat?' Cowboy says, 'Nope.'" At first glance, I thought this book would be getting 1 or 2 stars from me. It looked really bizarre.... and it is. It's as funny as it is bizarre though, and I was laughing more and more the further into it I got. It is 5 stars hilarious! It has these strange illustrations that include cut-out images, real photos, and bright colors. It has hilarious dialogue and a dumb cowboy. It is charming in its strangeness. This is definitely a keeper and one I'll be purchasing for Caleb when he's a bit older! "Octopus doesn't like beans. He doesn't like bacon. But he does like it that Cowboy has worked so hard just for him. Octopus licks one bean. 'Mmm-mmm,' says Octopus. 'I am so full.'"

  4. 4 out of 5

    jo

    As a huge Jon Scieszka fan, I've been waiting for Cowboy & Octopus to come out for months and it is finally here. As expected, it is completely strange and off the wall and absolutely hilarious. The picture book is made up of several short vignettes (think in terms of the classic easy readers: Frog and Toad, George and Martha). While every single page didn't make me belly laugh, there was a bit about a knock knock joke and a head of lettuce that sent me into uncontrollable wheezy laughter. I also p As a huge Jon Scieszka fan, I've been waiting for Cowboy & Octopus to come out for months and it is finally here. As expected, it is completely strange and off the wall and absolutely hilarious. The picture book is made up of several short vignettes (think in terms of the classic easy readers: Frog and Toad, George and Martha). While every single page didn't make me belly laugh, there was a bit about a knock knock joke and a head of lettuce that sent me into uncontrollable wheezy laughter. I also particularly like the bit where Octopus dresses up as the Tooth Fairy for Halloween. I'm not going to go on and on because you should just check out the great review that Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast already wrote. Also, you should definitely check out Jon Scieska Worldwide. There are all kinds of fun little treats there (try clicking on "Cheese Fez" at the top righthand corner for instance, and see what happens). Ah, creative genius!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Read only if you already love Scieszka & Smith, as it continues their line of successes but is not their best, imo. Although the illustrations are refreshingly brighter than some of Smith's, with the paper doll characters & all. "Telling Cowboy a knock knock joke didn't work out so well. But a lettuce knocking on a door is pretty darn funny." Read only if you already love Scieszka & Smith, as it continues their line of successes but is not their best, imo. Although the illustrations are refreshingly brighter than some of Smith's, with the paper doll characters & all. "Telling Cowboy a knock knock joke didn't work out so well. But a lettuce knocking on a door is pretty darn funny."

  6. 5 out of 5

    529_allie

    Jon Scieszka, the author of this book, is known for writing stories that are sure to bring laughter to both teachers and student, and in the book Cowboy and Octopus he does not disappoint. The book is made up of seven short stories about the unlikely friendship between a cowboy and an octopus. Each of the stories focuses on being a good friend. Both of the characters always the best interest of their friend at heart, however sometimes things don't go according to plan. In the first story cowboy Jon Scieszka, the author of this book, is known for writing stories that are sure to bring laughter to both teachers and student, and in the book Cowboy and Octopus he does not disappoint. The book is made up of seven short stories about the unlikely friendship between a cowboy and an octopus. Each of the stories focuses on being a good friend. Both of the characters always the best interest of their friend at heart, however sometimes things don't go according to plan. In the first story cowboy thinks his seesaw is broken, until octopus gets on the other side. A story later in the book Cowboy makes dinner for Octopus, the only problem being that Octopus does not like any o the things that Cowboy made. Octopus tells the reader that while he doesn't like the food he does like that his friend did something nice for him. Teaching the reader the importance of gratitude. Lane Smith, the illustrator, uses the method of collage to make illustrations interesting to look at. He uses cartoons, photographs, and what looks like scrapbook paper to entice the reader, and keep them going back to look again at the illustrations. This story lends itself well to teaching dialogue. Since neither of the characters narrate the story, and instead it is told simply through their conversations.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Themes: friendship, honesty, fun Setting: the playground, Cowboy's house and Octopus's house Cowboy is trying to seesaw, but it doesn't work with just one person. Then Octopus comes along and the two become friends. This is a very silly book, but it made me smile. If the idea of a cowboy and an octopus being friends doesn't sound like fun, don't bother with the book. That's pretty much the whole story. Cowboy invites his friend over for a surprise dinner - beans with bacon. Octopus doesn't like be Themes: friendship, honesty, fun Setting: the playground, Cowboy's house and Octopus's house Cowboy is trying to seesaw, but it doesn't work with just one person. Then Octopus comes along and the two become friends. This is a very silly book, but it made me smile. If the idea of a cowboy and an octopus being friends doesn't sound like fun, don't bother with the book. That's pretty much the whole story. Cowboy invites his friend over for a surprise dinner - beans with bacon. Octopus doesn't like beans, but he likes his friend, so he eats one to be polite. There are a few more stories, but they are all pretty much like that. The pictures are great. It's just a fun book about two unlikely friends. 4 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liaken

    This book is so intensely random that it works somehow, even though the "ending" isn't, really. I read this to my nieces and nephew, and when we got to the part where the octopus dresses up as the tooth fairy, we laughed so hard and long that the book gained a new status. It went from being weird to being wonderful. My nephew absconded with it shortly thereafter and read it to himself over and over again. I love it when I find a book that hits his humor button. This book is so intensely random that it works somehow, even though the "ending" isn't, really. I read this to my nieces and nephew, and when we got to the part where the octopus dresses up as the tooth fairy, we laughed so hard and long that the book gained a new status. It went from being weird to being wonderful. My nephew absconded with it shortly thereafter and read it to himself over and over again. I love it when I find a book that hits his humor button.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Skye Kilaen

    If you're going to dislike any of the books I recommend, it will probably be this one. It's totally absurd and surreal, or as my husband puts it, "f***ing awesome." We have never laughed harder at a children's book than when we saw the Halloween costume on Octopus. But if you're more comfortable with sweet and classic than zany, you may want to skip this one. (Don't skip if you've disliked other Scieszka, give it a chance.) If you're going to dislike any of the books I recommend, it will probably be this one. It's totally absurd and surreal, or as my husband puts it, "f***ing awesome." We have never laughed harder at a children's book than when we saw the Halloween costume on Octopus. But if you're more comfortable with sweet and classic than zany, you may want to skip this one. (Don't skip if you've disliked other Scieszka, give it a chance.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    J. Boo

    Should've been better than it was - having had my son play with his favorite purple beach-toy mollusc and stuffed bunny ("Clam and Bunny are friends! They ride cars and fight bad guys"), I appreciated the concept. But cowboy is rather predictably thick, and I really detested the illustration style. Should've been better than it was - having had my son play with his favorite purple beach-toy mollusc and stuffed bunny ("Clam and Bunny are friends! They ride cars and fight bad guys"), I appreciated the concept. But cowboy is rather predictably thick, and I really detested the illustration style.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I want to buy this for my brother. Hilarious.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Such a funny book! my 7 year old laughed most, but 3 yr old likes it too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Leigh

    My kids and I laughed our butts off reading this silly book. It's a bit on the irreverent side but so are we so... My kids and I laughed our butts off reading this silly book. It's a bit on the irreverent side but so are we so...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Morrison

    As someone who always skipped the "Do you like my hat?" pages of Go, Dog. Go! because the female dog was dressing to please the male dog, I appreciate the reference here. The octopus asks the cowboy if he likes his hat, and the cowboy basically says "It looks like horse shit." There's so much funniness here. The knock-knock joke about the lettuce is awesome! And when the cowboy serves the octopus beans! And the part when the octopus is assembling a wooden boat and tells Cowboy "I'll nod my head a As someone who always skipped the "Do you like my hat?" pages of Go, Dog. Go! because the female dog was dressing to please the male dog, I appreciate the reference here. The octopus asks the cowboy if he likes his hat, and the cowboy basically says "It looks like horse shit." There's so much funniness here. The knock-knock joke about the lettuce is awesome! And when the cowboy serves the octopus beans! And the part when the octopus is assembling a wooden boat and tells Cowboy "I'll nod my head and then you hit it with a hammer"! This book is fun visually also.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Has seven little stories about a cowboy and an octopus who are friends. The stories were quirky and not the best. I think the cowboy says "dang" about five times throughout the book. Somehow, I'm less bothered by saying "dang" in day-to-day life than I am reading it in a kids book (I know that's hypocritical). The cowboy also says "ain't" a few times and tells the octopus that his "new hat looks like something that my horse dropped behind him." I just felt like there was hardly anything worthwhi Has seven little stories about a cowboy and an octopus who are friends. The stories were quirky and not the best. I think the cowboy says "dang" about five times throughout the book. Somehow, I'm less bothered by saying "dang" in day-to-day life than I am reading it in a kids book (I know that's hypocritical). The cowboy also says "ain't" a few times and tells the octopus that his "new hat looks like something that my horse dropped behind him." I just felt like there was hardly anything worthwhile in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I expected much better from the duo of Scieszka & Smith. :( Other than the juxtaposition of a ocean creature and a cowboy, there's nothing particularly outstanding about this book. The story goes downhill quickly after the first 3 spreads. The artwork is distracting. I had hoped to use this with my preschoolers for a friendship theme but it's just not up to snuff. Two stars instead of one because the first 3 spreads were amusing. Sorry, not recommended. I expected much better from the duo of Scieszka & Smith. :( Other than the juxtaposition of a ocean creature and a cowboy, there's nothing particularly outstanding about this book. The story goes downhill quickly after the first 3 spreads. The artwork is distracting. I had hoped to use this with my preschoolers for a friendship theme but it's just not up to snuff. Two stars instead of one because the first 3 spreads were amusing. Sorry, not recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Jones

    This book is really funny and the illustrations are very interesting. I had never seen illustrations like this before and they seem to pop right out of the page. They are like cutouts and real life images of things that look glued to the page. I think this book is good for young readers because it teaches about friendship (even with the most unlikely of characters) in a fun and entertaining way. This book is modern fantasy and is in the 2nd-4th grade range

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gordon

    Today I'm bingeing on a number of books by Jon Scieszka. While The Stinky Cheese Man didn't really work for me, I liked Cowboy & Octopus more. It's cute and silly, very lighthearted, but with purpose. It made me smile. Once again, Lane Smith's pictues are well worth the cost of the overdue fines. Today I'm bingeing on a number of books by Jon Scieszka. While The Stinky Cheese Man didn't really work for me, I liked Cowboy & Octopus more. It's cute and silly, very lighthearted, but with purpose. It made me smile. Once again, Lane Smith's pictues are well worth the cost of the overdue fines.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Oskar Martinet

    Checked this book out from the library on a whim because I loved lanes illustrations. It is quickly becoming one of my sons (2.5) and mine favorites! The dang cowboy is so funny! So earnest. His brutal honesty has me in stitches. So I realize I’m not the intended audience, but my son also loves it- particularly the beans and bacon part “mmmmmmmm,mmm” and the knock knock joke. So glad my son has great taste in books. And that’s the truth.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Did not seem to have a coherent plot or point. Almost as if a group of monkeys got their hands on a typewriter and managed to create words. I guess it was supposed to be about friendship and be funny, but it fell pretty flat. Definitely not allowing my kids to read this. Wouldn't want to stunt their mental growth. Did not seem to have a coherent plot or point. Almost as if a group of monkeys got their hands on a typewriter and managed to create words. I guess it was supposed to be about friendship and be funny, but it fell pretty flat. Definitely not allowing my kids to read this. Wouldn't want to stunt their mental growth.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    So maybe 2.5... I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. Some scenes made me chuckle, but for the most part it was too off the wall even for us. The boys didn't really gravitate to it beyond the fact that two characters who are literally and figuratively worlds apart become friends. It's an immensely funny premise, but just didn't live up to its full potential. So maybe 2.5... I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. Some scenes made me chuckle, but for the most part it was too off the wall even for us. The boys didn't really gravitate to it beyond the fact that two characters who are literally and figuratively worlds apart become friends. It's an immensely funny premise, but just didn't live up to its full potential.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Israel Waltz

    Genre-Modern Fantasy Grade-K-3 This book has one of the weirdest team ups I have ever seen.I never thought I would read a book with a Cowboy & Octopus Teaming up. even though it is a little wired I strangely like it. I did however think before i started reading that I wouldn't like it. How wrong I was. guess the saying should go dont judge a book by its cover or name. I Recommend this book. Genre-Modern Fantasy Grade-K-3 This book has one of the weirdest team ups I have ever seen.I never thought I would read a book with a Cowboy & Octopus Teaming up. even though it is a little wired I strangely like it. I did however think before i started reading that I wouldn't like it. How wrong I was. guess the saying should go dont judge a book by its cover or name. I Recommend this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Viviane Elbee

    Written as a series of mini-stories, this book had the kids doubled over with laughter - though I think it is aimed at older children in elementary school who understand jokes and wordplay. After I finished reading it, one child immediately wanted a re-read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    An entertaining and unusual friendship between a cowboy and an octopus. Draws questions about being a good friend in funny and unusual ways. Artwork also unusual.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book was a little weird. Didn’t flow too well. The message of friendship was nice and I thought the illustrations were very unique and interesting!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    Seven short (very short!) buddy stories about the improbable friendship between a cowboy & an octopus that manage to be both seriously funny & heartwarming.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Cowboy and Octopus are unlikely friends. Very amusing scenarios.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marj

    This was charming and quirky, but watching my husband cackle as he read it elevated it to four stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hααlεч ♥ Fιѕнεя

    Unique art style with a fun story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Davidson

    Cowboy and Octopus are friends. This book is about some things they do together - in 7 very short, funny stories.

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