Written & Illustrated by: Simona Ciraolo
For ages: 4-8 years
Topics Covered: Anxiety, Shyness, Social-Emotional Learning, Friendship, Ocean Animals.
This book is super sweet, and I’ve been really looking forward to sharing it! It’s been a hot minute since I shared an animal book, but social-emotional learning is one area where I think animal protagonists can be helpful sometimes. While reading the story, we follow a small, pink, flapjack octopus named Maurice as he goes to school (and sort of dreads every minute of it). I understand this. Especially for kids, new places or crowds can be super overwhelming and the desire to hide is strong. However, just like Maurice, there’s probably a place or activity that makes them feel safe and comfortable enough to express themselves.
The tone of the book is very conversational, and the narrator speaks the to reader with the air of a confidant, fellow in-group member of being shy. The adorable illustrations show Maurice hiding in different places, too shy to play with the other fish. Maurice is also quite upset when his parent RSVP’s him to attend a costume party that he doesn’t want to attend (something I think we have all experienced at some point) and colors an angry paper bag face as his costume. But, the party ends up being maybe not so bad?
This book was kindly sent to us by Flying Eye Books, but all opinions are my own. Shy Ones will be released tomorrow!
About the Author & Illustrator:
Simona Ciraolo was born in Sardinia. She studied 2D animation at the National Film School in Turin, Italy, then moved to the UK. In 2014 she gained a degree in Children’s Books Illustration in Cambridge. She has written and illustrated a number of books including bestseller Hug Me (Flying Eye Books, 2014). She currently lives in London.