Tag Archives: sebastia serra


Casey Lyall is the author of the wonderfully narrated middle grade detective novel, Howard Wallace, P.I. And her first picture book is coming out November 7th, 2017: Inky’s Great Escape. It’s illustrated by Sebastià Serra, and I’m delighted to be able to share the cover with you today!

“Based on a true story, this tale follows a daring, Houdini-esque octopus as he performs his greatest escape act yet.”

“In April 2016, The New York Times published an article about an octopus named Inky who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand through a drainpipe and into the sea. In this charming fictionalized account, Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly plays cards, makes faces at the visitors, and regales his tankmate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more great escape: out of their tank. Will Inky succeed?”



Here’s the colorful, dynamic cover! (I especially like the block print quality of the title and sea surroundings and the energy that seems to emanate to and from Inky.)


  In honor of the cover reveal, Casey and Sebastià did a little Q & A about the design of the octopus characters:

“Sebastià, how did you come up with the design for the characters of Inky and Blotchy?”

Sebastià: The first sketches show a more naturalized version of Inky and Blotchy, with the head back like it is in a true octopus. I knew this wouldn’t be the final version because the characters were really fun and lovely and, bit by bit, the curves softened, the eyes grew and moved up the head, and the head gained importance in relation to the tentacles. All these changes were made with the intent of getting a more expressive face because this was a main point in Casey’s text – full of expressive nuances in the characters. Really it was a surprise for me to discover how expressive an octopus can be.

“Casey, what was your first reaction when you saw the artwork for Inky’s Great Escape?”
Casey: Total and utter delight! When I work on characters, I think more about the voice – how they think and talk so I really had no preconceived notions about how Blotchy and Inky would look. And I’m so glad I didn’t because what Sebastià came up with was better than anything I could have imagined. First of all, I loved the colours – everything was so bright and vibrant. But Inky and Blotchy are my favourite part because I think Sebastià captured them perfectly. The different facial expressions and body language are all spot on and totally in sync with the text. He brought them to life in the best way possible. 

Casey is giving away one copy of Inky’s Great Escape! Since it’s not out yet, this will be a pre-order, shipping in November. Something to look forward to!

SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave a Rafflecopter giveaway SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave