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Inky the Octopus
Cover of Inky the Octopus
Inky the Octopus
Bound for Glory
Borrow Borrow

Age Level: 4 and up | Grade Level: K to 5

Published in partnership with the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Inky the Octopus is based on a real-life aquatic escape!

Follow Inky the octopus as he escapes from the National Aquarium of New Zealand to the ocean! Based on a true story, Inky the Octopus: Bound for Glory chronicles the adventure that the real-life Inky might have taken on his escape to freedom in the open ocean!

BONUS: backmatter includes the real-life stories of Inky and other daring octopuses, as well as fascinating facts about these masters of disguise!

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year (Ages 5–9)
A Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Winner

Age Level: 4 and up | Grade Level: K to 5

Published in partnership with the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Inky the Octopus is based on a real-life aquatic escape!

Follow Inky the octopus as he escapes from the National Aquarium of New Zealand to the ocean! Based on a true story, Inky the Octopus: Bound for Glory chronicles the adventure that the real-life Inky might have taken on his escape to freedom in the open ocean!

BONUS: backmatter includes the real-life stories of Inky and other daring octopuses, as well as fascinating facts about these masters of disguise!

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year (Ages 5–9)
A Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award Winner

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • PDF eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    always available
  • Library copies:
    always available
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    2.6
  • Lexile:
    950
  • Interest Level:
    LG
  • Text Difficulty:
    K - 1

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Erin Guendelsberger writes stories and poems. She studied writing at Hamline University and Bowling Green State University and now pursues adventure in Ohio with her husband, daughters, and a cat named Hennimore.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2018
    Inky the octopus sings his tale.Longing for the excitement of the "open sea," a captive octopus describes its getaway. Basing her re-creation on an actual octopus's escape from the New Zealand Aquarium, in 2016, Guendelsberger imagines the dissonance between Inky's comfortable familiarity with aquarium life and his yearning to be free, finishing with his actual escape. The text is written in ballad meter, repeating variations on the refrain: "Out of this tank, I must break free. / I hear the ocean calling me!" Readers aloud may find some arrhythmic lines: "I've always liked eight-arm charades and seaweed hide-and-seek. / I've had fun playing gravel hockey and tentacle tag each week." More importantly, the first-person narrative anthropomorphizes this alien ocean invertebrate, attributing dreams, senses, and communication skills that are human but not likely appropriate for octopuses or even fish. (In contradiction to the endmatter entry, the correct plural is octopuses, not the occasional octopodes or the incorrect back-formation octopi.) In a highly unlikely conversation with his tankmate Blotchy, he invites the fish to accompany him into "the far and great unknown." The fish replies he would "rather stay / within his comfy home." Leonard's appealing cartoon illustrations reinforce this anthropomorphizing, with amusing expressions in Inky's humanoid eyes and even a bag of belongings hanging from one tentacle as he imagines his quest. All the humans shown seem to be white. Since the actual escape was nothing short of astonishing, the anthropomorphization serves to cheapen rather than ennoble the subject.Less implausible than Casey Lyell and Sebastia Serra's Inky's Great Escape (2017) but still unfortunate. (historical note, octopus facts, bibliography) (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2018

    PreS-Gr 1-An imagined adventure inspired by real-life escape-artist octopodes. Told in rhyming couplets that are occasionally a little clumsy, the story shows the eponymous Inky dreaming of the world outside the walls of his aquarium. One day, Inky discovers the lid of his tank unlatched, and though his friends decline to join him, he slips through a drain and into the open sea. The illustrations are humorous, and rendered in bright and tonal colors. The human characters depicted, including a family, a custodian, and another aquarium worker, are white. The colors and shapes used to depict the marine life create a great deal of personality and visual interest for the background of the illustrations. Portrayals of Inky's life in the aquarium make more use of white space while the world outside incorporates more color, with the final pages depicting the open ocean and coral reef proving the most colorful of all. The back matter provides additional information about octopodes, as well as the stories of their real-life aquarium high jinks. VERDICT A suitable selection for reading aloud or as an independent read for early elementary schoolers.-Kelly Topita, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2018
    Preschool-G This jaunty tale of derring-do imagines Inky the octopus' real-life escape from the National Aquarium of New Zealand from Inky's point of view. The golden-hued fellow can see the ocean from his tank and wants nothing more than to explore its waters, though it would mean leaving his aquarium friends behind. One night the lid to his tank isn't secured, and the crafty critter gets his chance, oozing over its glass wall, down a drain in the floor, and out to the sea. Large-scale illustrations in bright watercolors pair with minimal text, making this easy to share with a group. Though the lines of rhyming text don't always scan, a refrain echoing Inky's desire to be free in the open sea anchors the story and offers support to young readers and listeners. The most interesting part of the book is actually its back matter, which not only gives a straightforward account of Inky's escape but also details the antics of other aquariums' octopuses and offers scintillating cephalopod facts. Who isn't a sucker for that?(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal "An imagined adventure inspired by real-life escape-artist octopodes... The colors and shapes used to depict the marine life create a great deal of personality and visual interest for the background of the illustrations. Portrayals of Inky's life in the aquarium make more use of white space while the world outside incorporates more color, with the final pages depicting the open ocean and coral reef proving the most colorful of all. "
  • Washington Parent "Inky is a great companion for family trips to the beach or aquarium. In jaunty rhyming verse, Inky relays his tale, which is based on the true story of an octopus that escaped from the National Aquarium in New Zealand in 2016. Inky lives in a "world of see-through walls" and dines like a king on lobster, shrimp and squid, but he yearns to be free in the open sea. The intrepid marine creature squeezes, schemes and slips from his tank and through a tiny drain hole to drop to the ocean below, where he exuberantly exclaims, "I'll follow my heart wherever it leads. I'll travel far and wide." The back matter includes fascinating facts about octopi and brief stories about other eight-tentacle wonders."
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Inky the Octopus
Inky the Octopus
Bound for Glory
Erin Guendelsberger
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