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  • Lori Mortensen

ARLO Makes a Splash at Face in a Book



After weeks of anticipation, the Octopus Book Signing Party arrived with a SPLASH on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Weeks ahead of the event, children were invited to come in and color an octopus that would be entered in a drawing to win a copy of ARLO DRAWS AN OCTOPUS or a stuffed toy octopus. By the time I arrived that morning, there was already a flotilla of brightly colored octopuses swimming in the paper sea. Hooray!


After more than a year of the pandemic, social distancing, hand sanitizing, and mask wearing, it was a pleasure to be the first groundbreaking, inside, in-person event of the year at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills, CA. Over the next two hours, I enjoyed reading ARLO to eager listeners behind my purple mask, answering questions from parents about writing children's books, coloring my own octopus on the ARLO drawing board, catching up with awesome writing friend, Bitsy Kemper, and hearing from a special ARLO fan from the Elk Grove School District who loves this book and plans to use it in their first grade curriculum along with an octopus-drawing activity. I was thrilled that she'd made a special effort to see me and share her ARLO plans. (Drawing an octopus is just one of many great activities illustrator, Rob Sayegh, and I put together that's available HERE.)


After everyone had the chance to color an octopus and enter the drawing, it was time to pick some winners. We took all the little octopuses off of the paper sea and mixed them up in a bowl. A family who had come in at the beginning of the story time event and entered the drawing, made a special effort to come back and hear the exciting results. To their delight, the first winner I announced was none other than their son who won a stuffed octopus. He was tickled pink--or was it purple?


It was a splendid event for many reasons and I look forward to ARLO's ongoing adventures at bookstores, classrooms, and colorful drawings everywhere.













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