Inky the Octopus

illus. by David Leonard. 32p. Sourcebooks. Apr. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492654148.
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.

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