Using a wide range of survival techniques, a common octopus escapes from her predators and finds her dinner.
This lightly fictionalized story demonstrates some of an octopus's unusual adaptations: a flexible, boneless body that can be squeezed into a small hiding place; a siphon that squirts ink to cloud the water or a jet of water for a fast getaway; the ability to leave a limb behind; and a knack for changing color and texture for camouflage. The lyrical text has appealing alliteration and repetition; it reads aloud smoothly. Occasionally, supplemental information appears in smaller type. The predator-prey concept provides sufficient suspense to carry readers and listeners along as Octopus avoids a sea turtle, eel, shark, grouper, and gull before she finds her meal. The information about her predators and her prey—shrimp, fish, snails, a crab, and clams—is accurate and nicely shows her place in the food chain. Angus’ collage-style illustrations have a watery look appropriate to her environment. The double-page spread that discusses camouflage is particularly effective, with the octopus visible only under a bright light. Like other books from this publisher, this includes extensive backmatter for both children and adults, and additional activities and information are available on the publisher's website.
With octopus escape-artist abilities recently in the news, this is a timely title about a perennially appealing sea creature. (Informational picture book. 4-7)