The Octopus Scientists

Recently I was I reading news updates and one stuck out to me immediately, Inky the Octopus Escapes from a New Zealand Aquarium.  It is no secret that my family and petites are ocean loving people, so this is a story I cannot wait to share with my petite when she gets home from school today.  Basically what happened is a very smart octopus decided he wanted an adventure and that his current living situation was too small – why stay in an aquarium when you can roam the entire ocean?  So, Inky escaped from his enclosure making a daring escape crossing eight feet and into a drain where he slid down a 164 foot drain pipe to the sea.  Amazing, I love that these animals can be so sneaky and smart.  You may remember last year our own resident octopus attempted a jail break at the Seattle Aquarium.  Watch the video clip, here.  Hilarious.  I love these animals and so do my girls.  Which is why we’ve been reading this fabulous book about Octopus Scientists.

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Many of the books I share at The Petite Stag are fiction so I am really excited to be sharing this amazing non-fiction book.  The Octopus Scientist: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery and photographs by Keith Ellenbogen.  Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., 2015.  This book is perfect for the budding marine naturalist age range roughly 5th to 8th grade.  However, since I am reading it aloud and discussing the more academic scientific words as we read, this book can be made accessible to kids as young as six.  Through this book you learn about the scientists who are studying the octopus on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.  This book is perfect for the budding naturalist or a kiddo doing a report on this most interesting mollusk.

The photographs by Keith Ellenbogen are gorgeous, there is a particular part that both the petites love where a photo series has captured the color changing process.  I find that introducing animals or honestly anything is always more fun with interesting facts and this book provides you with many interesting tidbits along the way.  In fact, this morning as Zoe raced to the bus stop I heard her telling a much older bus rider that “did you know that  an octopus has three hearts and they pump blue blood?  They do!”.  I love that this book delves deeply into the science, into the octopus and the role that they play in our oceans and what their health means for the oceans’ health.  The images that are in this book perfectly capture the scientific process and are quite exciting to curious minds.  This book really gets you thinking about this incredibly smart animal.

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For more reading about these delightfully intelligent and adventurous creatures check out this article interviewing the author of this book Sy Montgomery.  He wrote another book, which made him a finalist for the National Book Award and also the esteemed status of being a New York Times Bestseller, The Soul of an Octopus, Simon and Schuster, 2015.

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I think that these World Octopus Day fact sheets are perfect to get petites interested in the nifty octopus.  I know I certainly love the fun facts.  I hope you enjoy checking out these fascinating reads.

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