Awards and Honors


Amazon Editors' Picks Best Books Ages 6-8

Cybils Awards Fiction Picture Book Finalist 2021


Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy  (CLEL) Award Nominee 2022


Arlo Draws an Octopus

Written by Lori Mortensen

Illustrated by Rob Sayegh, Jr.

Published by Abrams, May 2021 

An empowering picture book about creativity, making mistakes, and changing your perspective. When Arlo decides to draw an octopus, he can't help but think that maybe he's just not an octopus drawer. His drawing has a head that looks like a hill and eight squiggly arms that look like roads. It's an octopus disaster-piece! But just as Arlo vows to never draw an octopus again, he makes a discovery that changes his perspective about his drawing . . . and much more.

This endearing and relatable story gives readers of all ages a gentle reminder that we're better than we may think. Sometimes all it takes is a second look.

For educator resources, click HERE.


"Well-written and full of fun surprises."—Kirkus Reviews  


"Clearly adept at drawing many species, Sayegh, Jr. brings his digital art to life using brilliant colors within emotionally expressive scenes. Mortensen’s story begins realistically, but with a touch of magic, it transitions into fantasy without missing a beat, while enabling Arlo to rise from discouragement to confidence to joy in his art. A playful, reassuring picture book. A playful, reassuring picture book."—Booklist