Inky's Amazing Escape: How A Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home

By: Sy Montgomery

Illustrator: Amy Schimler-Safford

Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea.
Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.
Endnote. Octopus facts. Suggestions for further reading. Full-color mixed media illustrations.

ISBN: 9781534401914

JLG Release: Jan 2019


Topics: Octopuses , New Zealand , Anecdotes , Aquarium animals , Cephalopods , Marine animals

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Nonfiction Early Elementary

Grades K-2

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$210.60/year

Awards & Honors

Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens - 2019

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Montgomery (2015’s The Octopus Scientists and The Soul of an Octopus) has channeled her considerable octopus knowledge into a narrative nonfiction picture book based on an incident at a New Zealand aquarium. After a lobsterman took a young injured octopus to a nearby aquarium, it healed and grew, eventually finding its way back to the Pacific Oce Montgomery (2015’s The Octopus Scientists and The Soul of an Octopus) has channeled her considerable octopus knowledge into a narrative nonfiction picture book based on an incident at a New Zealand aquarium. After a lobsterman took a young injured octopus to a nearby aquarium, it healed and grew, eventually finding its way back to the Pacific Ocean. Montgomery uses age-appropriate language to convey an impressive amount of information. The text is accessible and makes use of relatable comparisons to everyday items such as grains of rice and soccer balls. No background knowledge of octopuses is assumed, but two terms, beak and jet are used without explanation; readers may be able to infer their meanings from the text. Inky is assigned thoughts and feelings, although as the text explains, changes in the octopus’s skin color can indicate emotions. Schimler-Safford’s engaging mixed-media collages in realistic colors, some reminiscent of Eric Carle, fill the page and beautifully complement the narrative—readers will want to closely inspect all the details. Back matter includes an endnote describing other octopus escapes, “Eight Fun Octopus Facts” (which are a simplified version of the “Octet of Octo Facts” in The Octopus Scientists), a short bibliography, and links to news stories about Inky’s escape. VERDICT Montgomery’s expertise and the gorgeous illustrations make this a fine purchase for libraries serving early elementary students.–Judy Poyer, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD, School Library Journal

Horn Book

Inky, an octopus, began his life in the Pacific Ocean, but was caught in a lobster trap and transferred to a New Zealand aquarium. Life there is seemingly blissful, filled with playful activities, friendships with aquarium keepers, and admiring onlookers. Yet when presented with a loose tank cover, Inky takes the opportunity to squeeze himself thro Inky, an octopus, began his life in the Pacific Ocean, but was caught in a lobster trap and transferred to a New Zealand aquarium. Life there is seemingly blissful, filled with playful activities, friendships with aquarium keepers, and admiring onlookers. Yet when presented with a loose tank cover, Inky takes the opportunity to squeeze himself through the gap, into a drainpipe on the floor, and then out into the Pacific, where he (presumably) lives today. Montgomery (who also wrote The Octopus Scientists, rev. 7/15, for older readers, for the Scientists in the Field series) weaves detailed science into Inky’s life story, helping readers to understand octopus birth and growth, the dangers faced in daily life in the open ocean, and the curiosity and emotions expressed by octopuses. Schimler-Safford’s brightly colored illustrations effectively capture the beautiful blues of Inky’s aquatic environments, show his sinuous flexibility, and hint at his intelligence. A detailed endnote provides additional information on the real Inky as well as several other octopus “escapes”; “8 Fun Octopus Facts” outline some of the remarkable abilities of the species. A brief list of suggested reading is also appended. danielle j. ford

Book Details

ISBN

9781534401914

First Release

January 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

9" x 10 1/2"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.6; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 590L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Paula Wiseman

Potentially Sensitive Areas


Topics

Octopuses, New Zealand, Anecdotes, Aquarium animals, Cephalopods, Marine animals,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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