Travelling With Your Octopus by Brian Kesinger – £21.99
A ‘Full 10 Pip’ Review by Atticus Oldman
If you have not yet chanced upon the adventures of Otto & Victoria (And if that indeed be the case where have you been hiding my dear friend?) – ‘Traveling With Your Octopus’ is a perfect place to start!
This third in a series of beautifully bound and produced illustrated storybooks by Brian Kesinger once again centres around the personal journal of Miss Victoria Prismall. A kind, charming yet strong willed young Victorian Miss of independent means, who describes her passions as travel, books and travel books and who happens to share her life with a most unconventional companion in the shape of Otto – A fine example of the ‘cephalopod’ species or ‘Octopus’ to give the more familiar name.
This time round, the journal follows Otto and Victoria as they embark on a ‘Grand Tour’ visiting many of the world’s wonders, experiencing new cultures and making many new friends along the way. From the shores o’ Loch Ness to the tombs of Egypt and onwards to Atlantis and far beyond, each stop on the way is illustrated in a most delightful manner that has the power to leave one grinning away like a Cheshire Cat!
While Brian is a fantastic artist who has worked on many a popular animated feature film including Tarzan, Wreck-It Ralph and Winnie the Pooh – I have to say, I feel it is when he is bringing his own personal concepts and creations to life that something simply incredible takes place. Along with the wonderful ‘Tea Girl’ steampunk themed illustrations (actually painted with tea), the adventures of Otto and Victoria zing off the paper with so much life and energy it can quite simply take your breath away.
Beautifully printed and published the series is a rare equally more-ish treat for both adults and children alike. However, not having young ones of my own I was Initially puzzled by the extended rectangle shape of the book. It was not until a friend’s children were reading it, giggling and chattering away the whole time in a wee world all their own, sitting with the book between them and each flipping pages in turn – that I realised the book was meant to be a shared read and the design was perfect for the process.
Having first became aware of the series by way of the original award winning edition ‘Walking Your Octopus’, I felt at that time the adventures of Otto & Victoria had the power to become a modern classic. ‘Colouring With Your Octopus’ and now this latest volume have only reenforced this conviction in the most pleasant of possible terms. A perfect gift for family and friends of all ages, ‘Traveling With Your Octopus’ is also a grand wee treat for your own bookshelf… And, you know it really deserves it!’
Published by SCB
Distributed by TURNAROUND: www.turnaround-uk.com
Additional Info: Brian Kesinger is an Annie Award-winning story artist and has worked on more than ten Disney animated films, including Tarzan and Big Hero 6. His previous book, Walking Your Octopus (SBC, 2013) won a Chesley Award from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.