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Brandee Buble grew up in Burnaby, BC, with her big brother Michael and little sister Crystal. Growing up as the daughter of a fisherman, Brandee spent many summers aboard her father's boat, where she had plenty of time to let her imagination run wild about all the creatures that surrounded her. Brandee taught children with special needs for eight great years and that's where her stories were born. She loved writing fun stories to keep her students engaged, often communicating with them through rhyme. Now married to her high school sweetheart, Brandee is a stay-at-home mom to her two awesome kids, O'Shae and Jayde. She is crazy about her family... in fact her sister Crystal is her next door neighbour! She still absolutely loves the ocean and can be found most sunny days on her boat with her family and friends. Eliska Liska is a world-travelling freelance artist currently based in Victoria, BC. She has a master's degree in Contemporary Art and New Media from Ostrava University, Czech Republic. Her book Suzie's Sourdough Circus was published in 2011 and she was the 2013 Summer Reading Club artist for BC.
Quill and Quire: "O Shae is a young octopus who was born with 10 arms. His mother thinks O Shae s two extra limbs make him special, and he has no reason to think otherwise, especially since his bonus appendages are very useful when helping around the house. However, when O Shae goes to the park with his friend Shelton the Shark, he is bullied because of his differences. With his friend s support, O Shae comes up with a plan to prove how useful two extra arms can be. Debut author Brandee Buble s background as a special-needs teacher shines through in this uplifting story about individuality and acceptance. In addition to showcasing a deep understanding and respect for children s differences, Buble is a talented wordsmith. She deals with bullying a gentle way, with the bullies apologizing at the end of the story. In less able hands, this resolution could have been too precious, but it works here. Though the message is obvious, children are unlikely to mind thanks to the bouncy, rhyming text that begs to be read aloud. Buble s tale works well on its own, but is enriched by Eliska Liska s vintage-style illustrations. The bold color palette features pea-green undersea foliage, rich teal water, a lime-green O Shae with magenta accents and a few splashes of grey. Each scene is enhanced by fun details. When O Shae helps his parents around the house, he holds a different cleaning tool in each of his ten hands; the park O Shae and Shelton visit features a clam-shell swing and seaweed climbing tower; one of the bullies a lobster has spiked bracelets and a slingshot. Parents, educators and librarians would do well to consider O Shae the Octopus when seeking sources to teach children about bullying. The book holds great educational value, whether shared one-on-one, in story time, or in the classroom. Happily, as this is the first in the One of a Kind series of picture books, we can expect more excellent material from Buble in the future."