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Octobo, What Can You Identify?

Our book reveals the joys of living in the big city through the eye of a curious octopus and the friendly people who call the city home.

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Welcome to the big city!


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

That looks like a giant’s frown.

Oh Octobo, that’s just downtown.

This is where our city meets, 

to work, and play, and also eat.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

That must be a metal snake!

Oh Octobo, that’s just a train.

This is how we get around, 

we even travel underground.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

Is that a lovely ocean view?

Oh Octobo, that’s called a menu.

This is how we pick our food.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner too.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

This looks like a place to hide.

Oh Octobo, that’s art that lives outside.

This is how we share our feelings, 

from the ground up to the ceiling.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

That bird must be 10 feet tall!

Oh Octobo, that’s called basketball.

This is one of our best sports. 

We play together, wearing shorts.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

That’s a home for scary bears!

Oh Octobo, that’s a garden we all share.

We each take turns planting seeds, 

to grow the things our city needs.


Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify?

I know this one. I won’t pretend.

All I see are brand new friends!


Bonus 'Discovery Card' Vocabulary Words:

  • Sandwich
  • Mit
  • Ball
  • Bird
  • Nest
  • Scarf
  • Teddy Bear
  • Kitty
  • Vase
  • Flower
  • Cake
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Envelope
  • Television
  • Squirrel
  • Notebook
  • Raccoon
  • Oven
  • Ladybug
  • Carrot
  • Gloves

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Octobo, What Can You Identify? celebrates our child-like character’s love of discovery in a safe, friendly, and supportive environment. With each new discovery, we think children and their caregiver will share a giggle from Octobo’s misguided theories, love the chance to discover and build their vocabulary words along with Octobo, and most of all, learn that sharing ideas is a great way to spark a positive conversation and learn about the world.

Share your suggested book title

Octobo, What Can You Identify?

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Welcome to the big city! Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? That looks like a giant’s frown. Oh Octobo, that’s just downtown. This is where our city meets, to work, and play, and also eat. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? That must be a metal snake! Oh Octobo, that’s just a train. This is how we get around, we even travel underground. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? Is that a lovely ocean view? Oh Octobo, that’s called a menu. This is how we pick our food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? This looks like a place to hide. Oh Octobo, that’s art that lives outside. This is how we share our feelings, from the ground up to the ceiling. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? That bird must be 10 feet tall! Oh Octobo, that’s called basketball. This is one of our best sports. We play together, wearing shorts. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? That’s a home for scary bears! Oh Octobo, that’s a garden we all share. We each take turns planting seeds, to grow the things our city needs. Octobo, with your one big eye, what can you identify? I know this one. I won’t pretend. All I see are brand new friends!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

As storytellers, we depend on beloved characters and magical destinations, but our book also leverages proven early literacy strategies to engage pre-readers. We begin with repetition and rhyming to create a repeatable pattern. In subsequent readings, we expect children to gleefully chime-in ‘Oh, Octobo!’ When we designed our story framework and interactive 'discovery card' system, we integrated methods like Joint Attention and provide visual hints for readers to create their own conversation and predictions. Our Tier 1 and 2 vocabulary words enable children to build their vocabulary by attaching new words to previous knowledge. Octobo sets the table on each spread by discovering a new base concept (downtown, restaurant, etc.). Then, children and caregivers use our discovery card system to attach even more new words within the previously learned context. We carefully designed our story and discovery card system to be intuitive for caregivers and children alike.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

The founding member of our team once called Philadelphia home. To ensure we captured the true spirit of Philadelphia, we surveyed her friends who continue to live there, many of whom are raising children there now. We received a double-digit number of responses! We encouraged them to speak freely about their home, and discovered many common threads that found their way into our book, chief among them, a pride in the city’s cultural diversity, food, public spaces, and neighborhoods. When asked to describe the people of Philadelphia, we heard words like authentic, underdog, friendly, approachable, sports-loving, cultural, and even opinionated. This became our cast of characters.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Our goal was to celebrate the strong sense of 'we/together/everyone playing a part' that we heard over and over in our survey of Philadelphia residents. Each local Octobo encounters speaks to a beloved aspect of urban living with a deep sense of pride and community spirit. Our illustrations depict a variety of unique and shared roles in daily city life—from traveling to playing games to eating together. On every page, we celebrate a seamless, positive blend of cultures contributing to the whole. And like all great cities, there's always room for one more.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

CA

Location: City

Los Angeles

Website URL (optional question)

www.playoctobo.com @playoctobo

Tell us more about you / your team

This story is created by Emily Mullock, Patrick Baggatta, and Yuting Su. We are a small team of professional creators with years of experience making children's entertainment and educational content—from heartwarming children's books like Go Away, Unicorn! to safe online play in Club Penguin to the innovative and accoladed Octobo, a smart storytelling plush toy and app. Collectively, we are passionate about storytelling (thus our interest in early literacy) and creating compelling experiences for children, ages 0-7. This particular challenge couldn't be more of a direct hit for our team's interests and passions.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Go Away, Unicorn!
Written and illustrated by Emily Mullock
Published by Mckellar & Martin/Scholastic

Dude
Illustrated by Emily Mullock
Published by Benjamin Brown Books

Wenda the Wacky Wiggler
Illustrated by Emily Mullock
Published by Benjamin Brown Books

Wish Upon a Squid
Illustrated by Emily Mullock & others
Published by Disney Story Central

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • In the news
  • We love OpenIDEO challenges! We've previously participated in a challenge with our Octobo smart toy.

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Attachments (1)

OpenIDEO_OctoboBookDummy.pdf

Our Book Dummy shows an early storyboard of how visuals and text come together to create an imaginative depiction of Octobo's adventure in the big city.

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Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

HThinker-Tinker Team  Great to see your joining the Challenge! We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Challenge. You can add the manuscript and publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. We're looking forward to seeing your submission in this challenge.

Photo of Thinker-Tinker Team
Team

Itika Gupta  Hi Itika, We're actually struggling with some bad compression on some of the images we're attaching as part of our submission. Are there any guidelines available on image resolution best practices? Any idea on who we could reach out to?
Thanks!!
Team Thinker-Tinker

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