Lucy the Octopus

We’re delighted to have partnered up with our friends at Jessica Kingsley Publishers to run a fantastic competition to celebrate National Reading Month! Each week, we’ll feature a blog on three topical education books on our website (provided by Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

At the end of the month, we’ll be entering one lucky person the chance to win ALL of the books we feature. The winner will be announced on Day 2 of The Schools & Academies Show, ExCeL, London 3-4 April.

Tickets are free of charge – register for yours here

By Richy K. Chandler

Teaching children how to make comics gives them valuable skills in drawing clearly, editing down ideas to fit a given space and developing narratives, without being weighed down with complex grammar and sentence structure.  Beyond writing with words alone, comics give pupils an alternative tool to express their ideas and thoughts for academic or therapeutic purposes, whether they are working alone or collaborating with classmates.

When I visit schools to talk about my own work, I explain how my comic strip character, Lucy the Octopus, started off as a stand in, or avatar, for myself. I had a tough time at school, as do many kids, and while I wasn’t brave enough to write an auto-biography of those years, I could still talk about issues of bullying, ostracisation and prejudice though the life of my protagonist… a small, blue, teenage octopus named Lucy.

Through humour, drama and adventure, Lucy’s story reminds readers valuable lessons of the foolishness of bullying, bigotry and blindly climbing the social ladder.  It also provides positive encouragement to stay true to your best self, use creativity as a healthy outlet and basically, be kind.  Above all the book has the most vital of messages… Cool is subjective!


Richy K. Chandler is a London based writer, illustrator and comic creator (What the Hell Just Happened?!, You Make Your Parents SUPER HAPPY!, When Are You Going to Get a Proper Job?).  He has over five years experience running workshops in making comics and graphic novels, in over 120 venues including schools, colleges, museums, hospitals and libraries.

Lucy the Octopus is published by Jessica Kingsley and is available to purchase at:


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