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Octopus Alone

Overview

Octopus loves living on the busy reef under the sea. From her cozy cave, she can see clown fish, and sea turtles, and little butterflies swimming by. She especially loves watching the seahorses having fun, wiggling and twirling. Sometimes she will play with them, but occasionally Octopus just wants to be alone, somewhere quiet, and not so busy. So one day, she swims far, far beyond the reef and finds another cozy cave, only here she is perfectly, wonderfully alone. It is exactly what she ...

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Overview

Octopus loves living on the busy reef under the sea. From her cozy cave, she can see clown fish, and sea turtles, and little butterflies swimming by. She especially loves watching the seahorses having fun, wiggling and twirling. Sometimes she will play with them, but occasionally Octopus just wants to be alone, somewhere quiet, and not so busy. So one day, she swims far, far beyond the reef and finds another cozy cave, only here she is perfectly, wonderfully alone. It is exactly what she wanted . . . until she’s ready to go back home to be with her friends.

As she did in Little Owl's Night, Divya Srinivasan shows children a wonderful part of the natural world in a very warm-hearted way.

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Editorial Reviews

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Octopus loves the solitude of her snug, cozy cave, but she also enjoys the life that surrounds her on the reef, and with company that includes clown fish, turtles, and sea butterflies, who can blame her? One day, however, she grows restless and swims far, far away and finds another, equally snug and cozy cave in a much quieter ocean environment. Quite understandably, though, she soon grows to miss her other sea companions and jets back to her old home. A sweet picture book by Divya Srinivasan, the author of Little Owl's Night. Editor's recommendation.

The New York Times Book Review - Pamela Paul
Story plays second fiddle here to Srinivasan's lush artistry; the gloomy depths of the sea pulse with possibility; startling color contrasts bring carnival cheer to the boisterous reefs. It's lovely down here.
Publishers Weekly
Cantaloupe-colored Octopus “was shy and did not like to be noticed,” writes Srinivasan, and to avoid mingling with the many genial extroverts who share her reef, she employs all of her natural abilities: fast getaways, hiding, blending in with her surroundings, and squirting black ink. Determined “to get away, far from goggling eyes” she leaves the sunlit, aqua waters of the reef for the ocean’s lonely black depths, where she realizes that she may not have such a low tolerance for companionship after all. Srinivasan’s storytelling feels a tad overwritten compared to her breakout debut, Little Owl’s Night, but her artistry is the farthest thing from a sophomore slump. From the bustling reef with its cheery, diverse inhabitants to the “magnificent storm of bubbles” that unfolds in the wake of a breaching whale (depicted in a vertical gatefold), every page is stunner. And while Octopus may be shy, her cuddly intrepidness, sweet big eyes, and flirty lashes make her an irresistible tour guide through Srinivasan’s beautiful, briny deep. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—As she did in last year's sweetly graphic Little Owl's Night (Viking, 2011), Srinivasan again produces a visually appealing story of a young animal finding its way in the big wide world. In this case, a bashful, doe-eyed orange octopus ventures away from home to escape the friendly enthusiasm of three seahorses. Charmingly stylized sea creatures (helpfully labeled in the delightful endpapers) float through an aqua-and-purple waterscape with an occasionally confusing perspective that renders the seahorses tiny on one page and larger than our timid heroine on the next. Reserved or introspective children may sympathize with the octopus, who employs authentic octopus tricks like camouflaging her color and squirting ink at the boisterous trio before escaping to deeper waters; even more readers could benefit from a reminder that not everyone always wants to play. But the narrative does not quite cohere and the paean to shyness gets lost in marine diversions: drifting jellyfish, an attacking eel, a breaching whale that earns a gatefold. After restoring herself with quiet and a solo jig, the octopus wishes for companionship and the text concludes that she is "glad to be back with her friends." Once readers realize that the seahorses she avoided, fled, and squirted are her friends, this final line provides a pleasant resolution as well as gentle encouragement for the bashful among us to dip a toe-or tentacle-into the ocean of sociability.—Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Shy Octopus flees the sea horses who dance into her cozy cave, but the deeper ocean is lonely and a little scary, so she returns to her friends in the lively reef. Srinivasan follows her debut, Little Owl's Night (2011), with a similarly striking rendition of the marine world in this no-place-like-home tale. Her story opens with a cast of characters, reef inhabitants, that are identified on the end papers. Readers will be able to point them out as Octopus makes the traditional picture-book journey on pages whose backgrounds range from varying shades of blue and green to the near-black of the ocean depths. With frames, full-page and double-page spreads and even a fold-out starring a whale, the artist varies her images to add interest and show the passage of time. In spite of eyelashes that defy the usual understanding of the differences between mammals and cephalopods and the anthropomorphic plot, this sweet story is relatively accurate in its depiction of octopus behavior and reef ecology. The octopus changes color to blend into her environment several times, squirts ink to hide and escape, and lurks in caves. There are predators and prey, but, appropriately for the intended audience, no one gets eaten. A gentle, positive story set in a world far less scary than that of Pixar's Nemo. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670785155
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  • Publication date: 5/16/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 142,119
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.82 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Divya Srinivasan (www.pupae.com) was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but spent most of her childhood in California and then Texas. A talented animator, she has worked on films, music videos, and TV shows. Her first book was Little Owl's Night.

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