‘Remarkably Bright Creatures’ entertainingly educates – Port Isabel-South Padre Press


I enjoyed this book by Shelby Van Pelt so much more than I thought I would, being thoroughly entertained by the tale of damaged people and broken families and how it seemed to orbit around a most unlikely creature, a sentient octopus. This story is timely, as the news has featured true life tales about people’s encounters with octopi, portraying how surprisingly intelligent and even affectionate they seem to be. One day you’re enjoying calamari at an Italian cafe, and the next day you’re reading the news or about Marcellus the Octopus and suddenly you’re rethinking your culinary choices.

Some of the things I appreciate most in any book is learning ancillary facts, particularly scientific facts, that probably wouldn’t occur to me.  In this novel, we learn that while we tend to display sea creatures in separate tanks and feed them the cheapest food source that they can biologically eat, they probably thrive better on what we might label as their ‘delicacies.’  But, are they really delicacies in the manner that they apply to humans?  Are they forbidden pastries made by a French Chef? No, it’s just a different sea creature that are more expensive and therefore would add to the aquarium’s budget.

By Van Pelt adding a charming character that is part acerbic, part ‘Artful Dodger’ street urchin, we delight in this being stealing and eating creatures from other display tanks, but being careful not to do it too much as he hopes to get away with it unnoticed. It winds up highlighting that while we put together animal exhibits at zoos and aquariums, we sadly come up short on making it as good as the animal’s natural environment.

Want the entire story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS, or subscribe to our e-Edition by clicking HERE!

Source link