Octopus Alone

Octopus Alone

by Divya Srinivasan
     
 

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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

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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.

Editorial Reviews

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:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/16/2013
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
285,654
Product dimensions:
10.82(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Divya's first book, LITTLE OWL’S NIGHT:

"This debut picture book gets it all just right. The story, while familiar, is executed deftly and with heart, and the crisp graphic elements of the artwork juxtapose well against the pretty prose." —Booklist, starred review
 
"The story's chief virtue is its graceful, balletic prose... It's a provocative inversion of the classic bedtime story, and a solid first outing. Srinivasan's message is that night is a delightful place, and that's useful knowledge for small children." —Publisher's Weekly 

"A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night... Hold on to Little Owl's tail feathers and soar." —Kirkus Reviews

"This exceptional first book by Srinivasan, a talented illustrator... follows Little Owl during his nighttime explorations... this bedtime tale may even convert children who are afraid of the dark into adventuresome night owls" —New York Times Book Review

"This is the most visually and verbally gorgeous picture book of the year... Simple, dazzling - and simply dazzling." —The Boston Globe

Praise for OCTOPUS ALONE:
"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."  —Kirkus

"...every page is stunner." —Publishers Weekly

"a visually appealing story " —School Library Journal

“Srinivasan, an animator and the author of the luminous “Little Owl’s Night” (2011), brings the same distinctive beauty to this story of a glowy orange octopus, ‘hidden in her cozy cave.’” —New York Times Book Review

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