Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets by Charlotte Voake

Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets

Written by Charlotte Voake
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, October 2015 A charming introduction to some very surprising but most unsuitable pets! Melissa loves her octopus but soon finds that an octopus is a tricky pet to keep – especially at bath-time! Betty has trouble of a different kind with her pet. A chameleon is all very well but it can be vey difficult to find…And it turns out that a worm, a giraffe and an elephant all have their difficulties too. But there is no doubt that Kevin and Bertrand have the very worse pet of all…and that’s all because of his very, very sharp teeth! ~ Julia Eccleshare

The author says, "I always wanted an armadillo when I was little – but I don't think it would have been a very happy pet. I now have two cats, four hens, and a small parrot called Gwen... The cats are frightened of the hens and terrified of the parrot! "


Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets by Charlotte Voake

In this laugh-out-loud, riotous new book from picture book master Charlotte Voake, follow Melissa, her friends, and all their rather unsuitable pets! There are certain animals that make suitable pets, like a cat, a dog or a guinea pig. Then there are other animals that definitely make unsuitable pets, like an octopus, a warthog or an elephant. They are much too large, too messy and, well, just a tad free-spirited. They also have a tendency to break things floors, ceilings and tables. But can you guess what makes the most unsuitable pet ever? Here's a clue ...he has a long, scaly green tail and very sharp teeth.

Charlotte offers a lesson on how to draw a less than furry friend on The Guardian Children's books web page: click here!


With arresting, giggle-inducing double spreads ... this is a delicious book for storytime sharing with under fives ... Prepare yourself for a snappingly good storytime. -- Jill Bennett Books for Keeps For young readers or listeners it creates thought-provoking conversation starters which will fuel their imagination. -- The School Librarian The School Librarian Well up to her usual high standards. -- Carousel Carousel Perfectly paced, wickedly dark, laugh-out-loud picture book about unsuitable pets. The Bookseller Children's Buyer's Guide Charlotte Voake has an unusually delicate, sweet style as an illustrator and in Melissa's Octopus she shows she has a funny side. Spectator

About the Author

Charlotte Voake

As a child

Born and raised in Wales, Charlotte says that book illustration is “the only thing I ever wanted to do” and she certainly has made a brilliant career of it. Skipping formal training in art, she studied art history at London University and worked at an art gallery before embarking on a freelance career in illustration.

As an adult

“I don’t know that I’m a funny person,” says author-illustrator Charlotte, “but it seems when I begin to draw that the characters change, and they take on this amusing and amused look.” Indeed, her illustrations are widely loved for this very quality of gentle wit, not to mention their quiet observation, airy exuberance and utter charm. Charlotte lives in Surrey, England, with her husband and two children.

As an artist

Among Charlotte's most acclaimed picture books are Ginger, and its prequel, Ginger Finds a Home, which shows how the loving ministrations of a little girl transformed the title character from stray to pampered pet. “We had a cat who lived at the bottom of our garden,” Charlotte says of her inspiration for this story. “It was a great moment when he decided to come and live with us.” Charlotte was personally selected by the nephew of the esteemed children’s book writer Eleanor Farjeon to illustrate the delightful classic, Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep. More recently, Charlotte has written and illustrated Tweedle Dee Dee; Hello Twins, winner of the British Book Design and Production Award; and Pizza Kittens, a dinnertime comedy of errors that she says stems from personal experience. “Good manners are not acquired overnight,” she sighs. “The secret is to keep trying!”

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Charlotte Voake
More books by Charlotte Voake


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st October 2015




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