Tomi Ungerer ~ Harper, 1959
Please tolerate my obsession a wee bit further and join me in celebrating another Ungerer book with a one-word title--of an animal's name--who invariably saves the day--that also includes Crictor, Adelaide, Rufus and Orlando. I'm not sure if he meant them all to be a series, but they certainly fit into the same theme.
Captain Samofar, a famous deep-sea diver, was walking on the bottom of the ocean one day. Suddenly a ferocious looking shark appeared. The shark attacked Captain Samofar. But a kind octopus named Emile saved him by throwing a rock into the fish's open mouth. Then Emile carried the diver to the surface. When Captain Samofar revived he shook hands gratefully with his rescuer. He invited the octopus to come and live with him.Very similar to the other single-named-saviors in that they're all helpful and taken in by some understanding human being. In this story, Emile builds a life on land, becoming accepted and popular... rescuing drowning children, thwarting swarthy smugglers. Ultimately, however, it is in the deep blue sea that he belongs.
Though I love Tomi's lush color work, there is something about his books with the simple line drawings (The Mellops) that totally win me over. They're so childlike in their effort and so accessible that even when the moment might seem frightening or strange, you are invited in by a heart full of innocence. Two glub glubs up.
Seeds and More Seeds
The Three Robbers
Orlando The Brave Vulture
Christmas Eve at the Mellops'
I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories
The Beast of Monsieur Racine
The Mellops Strike Oil
Book of Various Owls