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The Octopus, Dadu and Me – Lucy Ann Unwin

Like an octopus, Sashi feels like she has three hearts and they’re all breaking: she is unable to see her beloved Dadu, who has moved to a special home as he has dementia, and as she hides from her grief in the aquarium, she meets Ian the octopus. Realising he is trapped and potentially in danger, she decides she’s got to break him out…

Perfect for Maisie Chan fans, The Octopus, Dadu and Me bursts with love and warmth (definitely three hearts worth!). Sashi is struggling with losing her beloved Dadu when she meets Ian and an instant connection is formed. When she realises the lonely octopus is in danger, she sets out with her friends Hassan and Darcie to free him Free Willy-style (instant nostalgia for me with this story!).

There is so much to love about this story but what struck me was the power of connections. Family and friendship connections are some of the most powerful but yet, so can the power of a stranger (in this case, the instant connection Sashi forms with Ian). Dadu and Sashi will resonate with anyone with caring grandparents – this story took me back to spending my holidays and growing up with my loving grandparents – but what’s really stayed with me is how as Dadu is tragically losing his memories, Sashi’s are at the forefront of her mind and she desperately clings to this past. It gives the reader a unique insight into their relationship. Like Maisie’s stories, Lucy Ann Unwin tackles important difficulties in life but deals with them honestly and sensitively to the reader. While the end can’t magically make everything right again, this is hope for the characters.

Make sure you check back on the 6th of January for an exclusive piece by Lucy Ann Unwin! In the meantime, preorder your copy to experience the beauty of this book and also learn some fascinating facts about octopuses too.

Suggested reading age: 9+

The Octopus, Dadu and Me is written by Lucy Ann Unwin, with the cover illustration by Selom Sunu and interior illustrations by Lucy Mulligan. It’s published by uclan publishing on 5th January 2023. You can preorder a signed, personalised edition with The Book Nook available here.


Published by Tom G

Avid reader. Dad of 2. Husband. Assistant Headteacher.

2 thoughts on “The Octopus, Dadu and Me – Lucy Ann Unwin

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