The Octonauts: The Book is Better Than the Movie!

Parents of Octonauts obsessives, raise your hands. I see you there, you who know the difference between the Gup A and the Gup E, who have a weirdly extensive knowledge of obscure sea creatures, and who can’t get “Creature Report” out of your head for love or money. I see you, from here in my living room, where I can’t look in any direction without seeing orange and blue.

Octonauts obsession has hit my 3 year old hard, and truthfully, as far as children’s television goes, I don’t really have any complaints about her choice. The characters are all smart and individual, and none of them have annoying voices. There’s no violence of fighting baddies. The technology/engineering jobs are held by the ladies. Every episode teachers about a new animal. Their mission is “Explore, Rescue, Protect.” What can I possibly object to?

Octonauts is one of the most popular shows on children’s television, but did you know that it’s based on a beautiful series of books? My mini-artsplorer was gifted a few of them for Christmas, and since then we’ve spent a lot of time with these stories. I think you’re bound to love them as much as we do.

Written by the Canadian/American creative duo Michael Murphy and Vicki Wong, who call themselves MEOMI, there are six books in the series. The characters are all the same as in the television show, with just a few small visual details having been changed in their transition to TV stars.

The illustrations are gorgeous and detailed, with so many clever little touches. It usually takes us some time to get through each book because we keep noticing new things to look at on each page. There are visual jokes that the kids will love, as well as some that will be appreciated by sharp-eyed parents. Here are a few of my favorites.

MEOMI also have a lot of fun playing around with the physical structure of the pages, with some turned sideways for a long image, and one of my favorite little jokes is when the Octonauts are searching all over the world, and you have to turn the book upside down for their adventure to the Southern hemisphere. I love these little touches.

We were given The Octonauts and The Only Lonely Monster, about an octopus who is looking for a friend like him; The Octonauts & the Frown Fish, about a fish that is inexplicably glum all the time; and The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef, about a reef that has lost its color (a very subtle message about reef bleaching and our responsibilities to the ocean). Each one is equally as charming as the other.

So, if you have an Octonauts lover in your life, I’m sounding the Octo-alert – these Octonauts books are an addition to the collection that both of you are going to love equally.


This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase your Octonauts books from the link, I get a little extra change for our “buy new Gup toys” fund! So, please do!

12 thoughts on “The Octonauts: The Book is Better Than the Movie!

  1. My son (now 6) has always loved the Octonauts both the show and the books. A much better choice than the shouting DORA that my daughter was obsessed about as a preschooler. The Octonauts is incredibly educational too. Have you read the “creature report”? It goes through 50 marine animals that the Octonauts meet in their adventures.

    1. Ah, yes, mine went through a short Dora phase I could have done without! I much prefer the Octonauts – happy for them to hang around for awhile. I haven’t seen the Creature Report – will have to look for it!

  2. Love Octonauts! Will have to get some of the books for my son, as well as for when I go back to teaching! I was teaching year 2 before we went on maternity leave, and we did a whole unit based on “Under the Sea”. Octonauts was brilliant for teaching the children about sea creatures (although we only watched it if it was raining outside and it was inside lunch). But the books would be a brilliant resource – thanks for the recommendation!

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