An octopus and an ant are paired up to write letters for a school project in this charming picture book in the tradition of Dear Mr. Blueberry.
For an entire school year, Oscar the ant and Bill the octopus send letters to each other as part of a school project.
Oscar loves table tennis, and Bill loves modelling clay.
Oscar does judo, while Bill has a garden.
Despite their differences, the two new friends find shared interests…all leading up to one final surprise!
Bill is an octopus with weak eyesight and a fondness for video games. Oscar's an insect who takes judo lessons. Their school-sponsored pen pal correspondence rapidly turns into genuine friendship as they exchange gifts, personal bests, and reading recommendations ("Thank you for Jack the Tarantula"). When Oscar writes to tell Bill that their planned end-of-year visit has been canceled, Bill comes up with a nifty way for the two to meet. In her U.S. debut, French author-illustrator Pichard uses a consistent palette of red, light blue, and yellow to underscore the regularity of the pair's exchanges, and her story draws humor from speculation about daily life in octopus and insect households ("My stepmom made us hot chocolate and plankton beignets," Bill writes). Interludes between the missives show postal creatures hurrying over land and sea to deliver the friends' letters, and close-ups of the gifts the two exchange. Pichard's story warmly spotlights a friendship that thrives despite unexpected cultural differences. "We have to be careful when we go outside," Oscar writes in the autumn, "because the leaves are falling and could hurt us." Ages 4 7.