Shy Ones

Shy Ones
Simona Ciraolo
Flying Eye Books

We first officially meet flapjack octopus Maurice, the story’s main character, on the front endpapers. Said creature is extremely shy, hiding behind his mum, under his desk at school and among the seaweed fronds in the playground. ‘Unless you were looking for him, you wouldn’t know he’s missing,’ says the narrator.

‘Right about now, you’re probably thinking “What a bore!” But I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions’ we read but then we see the little cephalopod on his way to Deep Blue Dance Hall where, surrounded by a host of glowing creatures and looking as though he’s blissfully happy, he performs a solo dance.

Then comes an invitation to a party, which Maurice somewhat reluctantly turns up to with a handy disguise; then the omniscient narrator steps in again with some revealing comments …

and a friendship is forged. Finally on the back endpapers we discover the narrator’s identity is Lucy the Box Fish another reclusive marine creature.

Observant readers/listeners may just have noticed that said fish has been lurking in the background in several of the early spreads and those who haven’t can enjoy looking back and discovering her whereabouts in Simona Ciraolo’s wryly humorous sub aquatic scenes full of charming, jewel bright sea creatures.

A gentle delight to share with many little humans – introverted or extroverted – or perhaps, just one little shy one.