The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy, illustrated by Felicita Sala

The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy, illustrated by Felicita Sala. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2021. 9781984812698

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? This is a cute story of an octopus who is caught and goes to live in an aquarium. He isn’t happy there, so he escapes and finds his way back to his comfortable home. Readers will see the octopus do many amazing things throughout the story, including playing with blocks, opening jars, taking photographs, squeezing through small spaces, and changing color. He is illustrated as a bright orange, making him stand out even when the pages are busy with other animals. The backgrounds of the illustrations are at times bright and other times dark, varying to enhance the feel of the setting. 

Anything you did not like about the book. While the story highlights many of the amazing adaptations and traits of octopuses, I would have really liked to see some information at the end explaining more about the animal and offering additional resources for interested readers. 

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a great read-aloud for a science class studying octopuses or different animals. Children who love animals, especially sea animals, would also like it. Very similar to the nonfiction book Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home (Montgomery).

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: July 31, 2021

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