Beds aren’t only for sleeping. Sometimes, like boats or trains or planes, they can take whoever’s in them on fantastic trip. In There’s an Octopus Under My Bed, young Elijah goes on a faraway jaunt without leaving his bedroom.
The trip takes him to the Galapagos Islands and beyond, and along the way he meets some very unusual creatures. He also learns how to deal with new and sometimes scary situations, and discovers the importance of making new friends while sticking by the old ones. Dean Blase’s memorable prose brings a gentle sense of whimsy to Elijah’s unexpected adventures, while scribe’s illustrations portray the creatures, including the title one, as amusing and memorable. Some characters in the book have already be seen in some of his murals & gallery shows – others are appearing for the first time. Originally rendered with spray paint and then transferred to the computer screen, Ross’s dazzling illustrations are sure to please both young readers and the adults with whom they share this read-aloud treasure.
There’s an Octopus Under My Bed is a story about a young rabbit, Elijah, who must play with a new friend (a red octopus named Manos) when he loses his favorite adventure buddy (a stuffed rhino). At first wary of trusting Manos, Elijah soon finds out that his new companion can take him on adventures too.
Manosleads Elijah through a magic carpet in his living room to the marvelous world of Galapagos, an island where everyone is “always changing.” Elijah encounters several obstacles along the way, learning to trust his new friend and himself, and emerges a better bunny at the end – with two friends for “adventuring” rather than just one.
About the artists..
Donald Ross, also known to many as “scribe,” currently lives with his wife Alisa and two sons Elijah and Jonah in Kansas City, Missouri. Ross was born in Denver, Colorado, and throughout his childhood lived in numerous places, including Israel, London, Tulsa, San Francisco, Boston and finally landing in Kansas City.
Throughout the last fourteen years Ross has gained notoriety through his murals in Kansas City and the Midwest, growing into illustration work, gallery shows, and his current position as a full time artist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Ross’s original dreams from high school always revolved around uplifting and comical messages aimed at laughter for people of all ages. Along with his job, Ross has shown in galleries on both coasts of the U.S., but mainly in the Midwest with artwork that appeals to children while also speaking to adults on another level, creating an enviroment where the family can share art together. His animated murals and whimsical style in murals along with his knowledge gained from his experiences at Children’s Mercy Hospital have now helped those original dreams come together.
Dean Blase is a self-described word nerd who loves exploring the elasticity and power of the English language. This is Blase’s first children’s book, and she drew inspiration from scribe’s amazing illustrations, Toni and Slade Morrison’s children’s books, Dr. Seuss, and her daughter Francine.
Her favorite part of the project was finding that Elijah’s voice begin to rhyme as he began his journey. An English teacher at the nation’s first public Montessori high school, Blase normally writes about her classroom. Previous publications include a chapter on Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon in Great Books for High School Students (Beacon Press, 2004) and articles for English Journal in which she explores ways to help students become better writers and readers.
Having earned degrees in education and literature from the University of Michigan, Miami University, and the Bread Loaf School of English, Blase currently lives in Cincinnati with her husband and her daughter
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