Thursday, March 29, 2018

Inky the Octopus Spotlight Tour

Inky the Octopus by Erin Guendelsberger
On-Sale: 4/3/18
ISBN: 978-1-4926-5414-8
$17.99 HC
Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book
Inky the octopus escaped miraculously from the National Aquarium of New Zealand in 2016. The lid of his tank was left slightly open by mistake one night, and Inky squeezed through the opening. He slid down the side of the tank, slithered across the floor, and crammed through a six-inch-wide drain hole that led out to sea. How was he able to do it? Octopuses like Inky are known to be great escape artists, able to sneak through openings as small as a coin. Octopuses have a beak on their underside where their eight arms meet. The beak is the only hard part of the octopus’s body, so an octopus can contort itself to fit through nearly any space wide enough to fit its beak. Also, octopuses have no bones! Having no skeleton or backbone makes squeezing through small spaces easier. Inky isn’t the only octopus to pull off an amazing escape. In fact, he isn’t even the only octopus from New Zealand! Sid the octopus tried to escape from the Portobello Aquarium in New Zealand several times before aquarium workers decided to release him back into open waters in 2009. Sid’s predecessor, named Harry for Harry Houdini, used to sneak out of his tank to eat crayfish from a neighboring tank. Perhaps Inky is eating crayfish now as he enjoys life in the open sea!


Inky is bored with aquarium life—he wants to start a new adventure in the ocean! But just how can an octopus in a tank get to the open seas…?

Inky is not just a character from a tall tale – he’s the real-life escape artist from the National Aquarium of New Zealand. One morning in April of 2016, the aquarium’s keepers discovered that Inky was missing. His tank-mate Blotchy stayed behind, but the keepers traced Inky’s tracks to Hawke’s Bay. This story chronicles the adventure that the real-life Inky might have taken on his escape to freedom in the open ocean!


Erin Guendelsberger writes stories and poems. Her work has appeared in picture books and magazines. She studied writing at Hamline University and Bowling Green State University. She now pursues adventure in Ohio with her husband, daughters, dog, and cats.

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  1. What a great topic for a children’s book! My students love learning about interesting animal talents.

    My kids and I really enjoyed visiting the New England Aquarium in Boston.

  2. I love to visit the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas. This books is marvelous and I will enjoy sharing it with my students during our library time. I love books based on true fact in a fictional setting. These go over very well with our young learners!

  3. I love to visit the Dallas World Aquarium, as do our students. It's even more special because Dallas is not near the ocean.

  4. I love visiting the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

    1. I'm visiting Chicago in June and hope to see the Shedd Aquarium. The last time I was in town, I never made it there - although I did visit the Field Museum. :-)

  5. "What is your favorite aquarium to visit?" I visited the aquarium in Baltimore once when they were having an exhibit of jellyfish, and it was amazing to see these dozens of small tanks with these magical tiny jellyfish!

  6. This book looks great and the illustrations are so engaging!
    I have enjoyed the aquarium at Niagara Falls but the one in Atlanta is on my bucket list!

  7. I've only been to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati. But I'd love to visit more.

  8. This looks like a book my students will really enjoy! The New York Aquarium at Coney Island is a great place to visit!