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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  62 reviews
"Montgomery's expertise and the gorgeous illustrations make this a fine purchase for libraries serving early elementary students." --School Library Journal

"The mixed-media illustrations make good use of dynamic spreads, color, and texture--perfect for a book on a master of camouflage. Montgomery seamlessly incorporates interesting facts about octopuses into the narrative."
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  259 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Octopode Lovers / Young Would-Be Naturalists & Marine Biologists
Led by his insatiable sense of curiosity about the ocean around him, Inky the octopus was an explorer from the day he hatched. When an injury led him to crawl into a lobster trap, the octopine creature found himself hauled up onto land, and taken to New Zealand's National Aquarium, in Wellington. Here he recovered, enjoying his time with the games and puzzles given to him by the staff. Eventually though, his natural inquisitiveness led him to explore once again, and he discovered a way to escape ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Although a great true story, lack of careful editing detracts. The first time it says, “one arm, two arms...” there is an extra comma and it actually reads: “one, arm, two arms...”
Also, a lot is made of the damaged two legs, but few of the illustrations show it very well - the first time it’s shown it is hard to even tell which two arms are hurt; in another two page spread the end of the legs are in the gutter, so the reader can’t even see the damaged legs.
The other detail that bothers me is tha
Chance Lee
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-it
Basic text tells the true story of an octopus that found himself in the aquarium and then escaped. Inky and the people are done in an Eric Carle-esque style. The fisherman, especially, looks like he fell out of A House for Hermit Crab.

The layout of the illustrations feels unfocused at times. For instance, one illustration focuses on a worker in the aquarium giving Inky a crab. Her whole body and face are visible, and she's not very detailed. We never see this character again, and Inky, our foca
Aliza Werner
This is the best picture book about Inky I’ve read! Sy Montgomery is a master storyteller while slipping in plenty of facts about octopuses. Moments of wonder, surprise, and humor bring this narrative nonfiction to life. Great back matter with more facts and resources.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford. PICTURE BOOK. Simon & Schuster, 2018. $18. 9781534401914



Inky was born in the ocean. He suffers an injury and is found by a fisherman in New Zealand. He is taken to an aquarium to heal and grow. His curiosity leads him to escaping back home into the ocean.

Such a cute story and so much information about octop
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Better than "Inky's Great Escape," which was heavily fictionalized. I gave that one 4 stars - extra for the illustrations - so I feel like I need to give this one 4 stars as well because it was based on the facts. And the Mr. Potato Head eyes on the starfish made me laugh. Not sure if that was entirely true, but oh well. As much as I liked the illustrations here, I have a couple of quibbles:

1. Half the time I couldn't tell which two tentacles had been injured.
2. The text says that he was the si
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting children’s narrative nonfiction book about a clever octopus named, Inky.
Cheriee Weichel
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book engaged students from grades 1 to 5 this week. I love how it combines narrative with all kinds of information about octopi. With the older groups we had interesting conversations about how the author would have had to learn a lot about octopi to imagine what Inky's life was like before he was captured. Since reading this book and realizing just how smart these animals are, I'm not sure I will be able to eat octopus again.
Kyra Nay
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Injured by an eel as a young octopus, Inky was rescued by a fisherman after he crawled into a lobster trap. The fisherman took the octopus to a local aquarium, where Inky’s injuries healed. Inky enjoyed life at the aquarium – he turned red with excitement when he saw the keepers, then white with relaxation when they pet him. He explored everything the keepers gave him – dried corals, pots, and jars. But one night, with the cover to his tank left unsecured, Inky escaped, exploring the aquarium un ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
In 2014 a common New Zealand octopus having two bitten tentacles was caught in a lobsterman's fishing cage. The man donated it to the National Aquarium in Wellington.

"The aquarium keeper saw the octopus's hurt arms. You'll be safe with us! she told the octopus, and poured him into a tank. She named him Inky, because when they are scared, octopuses can squirt ink. But the little octopus wasn't scared. He was ready to explore. He felt and tasted the glass and all the corners with his slippery, ben
A Allen
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't like animals being kept in captivity. As soon as he was rehabilitated, Inky should've been released. Since this book did not partner with an aquarium like Erin Guendelsberger's book "Inky the Octopus", I was hoping Montgomery would sugar-coat captivity less but alas this book missed the mark for me. I do, however, like that Montgomery covers how Inky was injured and then ended up at the aquarium, which Guendelsberger had skipped. I appreciated the extra information, although parts of thi ...more
Sy Montgomery tells the story of Inky from birth to "escape", one based on a real Inky that includes much about octopus lives, how they begin no bigger than a grain of rice, but are sent out into the world to survive by themselves! Those suckers help them feel and taste and are strong enough to pull a clam apart! Inky's story parallels other octopuses in the world of aquariums. They can squeeze into or through amazingly tiny spaces. More is included in an end note with a page of other fascinati ...more
The engaging narrative text and the gorgeous illustrations come together to make a terrific nonfiction picture book that tells the story of a real-life octupus' escape from a New Zealand aquarium. Young readers will be fascinated by the details of Inky's life in the Pacific Ocean before he was caught in a lobster trap and brought to the aquarium. Inky's treatment at the aquarium was very good and he was happy, but lobsters are very curious and adventurous. And so when someone forgot to latch his ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Montgomery brings her research knowledge and fascination with octopuses to young readers in this charming picture book. She incorporates octopus facts and information into a fascinating story about a real life octopus rescued by a fisherman after being injured. Inky lived 2 years in the National Aquarium in New Zealand before one night escaping down a floor drain back into the sea.

Lovely and humorous illustration by Amy Schimler-Safford are done in mixed media and collage. Well done back matter
Ruth Anne
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
Sy Montgomery is an accomplished author of non-fiction for children. Here she has written a story based on true events, of Inky, a curious octopus. Inky end up in a lobster trap and the fisherman that trapped him took him to the aquarium. With careful and clear text, Montgomery writes a fascinating story of a real octopus who has an amazing escape from the aquarium. The colorful and appealing illustrations make this a delightful tale for ages 4 - 8. An endnote explains how octopuses are 'fabulou ...more
Ames Public Library Youth Services
I am both fascinated by and terrified of octopuses. They're just so darn smart! In this book, kids can meet Inky, a very intelligent octopus, so they can feel the same way!

Montgomery's text is, of course, great. She makes Inky the Octopus a very interesting creature. The illustrations are beautiful as well. Schimler-Safford uses collages to make a very cool book.

I definitely recommend reading the author's note at the end. She mentions some great octopus anecdotes and will make you want to learn
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
A nonfiction-flavored picture book about a Common New Zealand Octopus named Inky. Trapped in a lobster cage, Inky is brought to the local aquarium, where he lives until his great escape back to the Pacific Ocean. Inky is surprisingly expressive in the illustrations. I would definitely booktalk this title at school visits. Kids are sure to find it amusing that Inky liked to play with LEGO blocks and Mr. Potato Head at the aquarium. Back matter adds authenticity to the story, and there's a photo o ...more
Olivia Slykhuis
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book, although not really a story per se. I found it pretty readable and entertaining, though, and enjoyed the blend of fiction and non-fiction. I'd definitely recommend this book, and might display it (octopus display!), but wouldn't use it for a storytime. Definitely better suited for older kids. Includes some interesting real-life details at the end. Although it details Inky's escape, I wouldn't call this entirely vegan, as it still supports the idea that captivity is ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting story of an octopus's curiosity, and where it led him. A few times.

I liked the Interesting Endnote that made sure to explain that Inky didn't necessarily escape because he was unhappy - he probably just wanted to see where the pipe went. Zoos and aquariums have come so far in the ways they provide enrichment to their animals, especially the ones that are unlikely to thrive in the wild, that it makes me sad when people just dismiss them as putting the animals on display for entertainm
Patricia McLaughlin
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful illustrations of the undersea world add depth to this fascinating story about the amazing life of Inky the octopus and the intelligence, curiosity, and ingenuity that freed the clever creature from captivity. Interesting Endnote, 8 Fun Octopus Facts, and Suggestions for Further Reading provide plenty of options for story-time learning opportunities. Check out the photo of Inky, taken at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, on the back cover.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inky, a young octopus, rescued from a lobster trap makes an amazing escape from the National Aquarium in New Zealand. Sy Montgomery tells the story, beautifully illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford. Full of interesting facts about the octopus - skillfully dropped into the story as well as a "fun facts" page and end notes. A great introduction for a younger child about to study sea life, or who wants to get an octopus for their aquarium.
This is a great book about a young octopus who gets caught in a crab trap, taken to an aquarium because of previous injuries, lives there happily until he escapes one night out the drain back to the ocean. It is based on a true story and kids will enjoy this picture book full of facts and adventure for this octopus. The illustrations are done with mixed media and beautiful colors.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The adventures of an octopus starting just after birth. The author provides informative text in this story. Inky ends up in a lobster pot and taken to an aquarium. Readers see his life there until he escapes down the floor drain and returns to the Pacific Ocean.
Informative text about the octopus and how they escape through small places.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vibrant illustrations tell the life of Inky the octopus, a photo from his stay in the aquarium is on the back cover. Back matter is interesting as well. My only complaint is on the page when the fisherman looks at Inky to see that he was hurt, the injured arms are almost in the gutter of the book and not very obvious.
Michelle Rodes
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming book! Inky is a courageous and curious little guy. Any kid would love to follow on his adventure and be inspired by his bravery and cunning. The illustrations are glorious with vivid color that opens up the world beneath the sea. The extra bits of fact at the end make it all the more interesting and engaging.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A true story about a young octopus and his unintentional escape from a New Zealand Aquarium to his original home in the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful illustrations! Excited to use this for our octopus research unit in 1st grade Lib.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Learn about the fascinating lives of octopus in this picture book based on a true story. A curious young octopus gets injured and then taken to an aquarium. Readers will be intrigued with how he manages to escape. Eight fun facts about octopus are included in the back matter.
Krissy Neddo
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a fan of the nonfiction that reads a bit like fiction.
But I do love books based on a real life event.
Not the best read aloud, but I can see mixing this with a slideshow with a maps, photographs and video of the real event.
Caleigh Lovitt
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I loved this book about the fascinating story of a real octopus' journey from the ocean, to an aquarium, and miraculously back into the ocean again. The illustrations were cute and I also enjoyed the facts and real photograph of the octopus in the back of the book.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute pictures and educational!
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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b ...more