(July 12, 2012)

"Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always"
By Tao Nyeu
Dial, $16.99, ages 5-8

This chapter book is not an easy reader, but it does have a friendship-centric world in common with popular easy readers like Mo Willems' "Elephant & Piggie" — though with a larger cast and an underwater setting. Tao Nyeu's words and pictures brilliantly bring forth the quirky characters, whether they're quarreling about wearing mittens or gloves or choosing truly funky headgear. Don't forget to follow their smaller marine friends as well, in conversations around the illustrations.