Arlo Draws an Octopus

Arlo Draws an Octopus
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
May 04, 2021
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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.

Editor review

1 review
cute picture book about appreciating your work
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
ARLO DRAWS AN OCTOPUS is a cute picture book about perfectionism, self-acceptance, and new perspectives. Arlo loves octopuses, and he has decided that he is going to draw one. As he begins to sketch, nothing looks the way he wants it to. The head looks more like a hill, and the arms look more like random roads. He knows that not everyone is good at everything, but he is still upset when it seems nothing like what he had wanted to draw. He crumples it up and throws it, but knowing he shouldn't litter, he goes to pick it up. Instead of picking up his own drawing, he finds someone else's - an octopus had drawn Arlo! Even though the octopus did not like his drawing of Arlo and Arlo did not like his drawing of the octopus, each of them likes the other's drawing and thinks they are good! Arlo begins to realize that maybe his drawing wasn't so bad afterall.

What I loved: This is a cute story for perfectionists to step back and enjoy what they have created, even if it was not exactly what they had in mind. The cute ending to the story is a pleasant surprise, and I love the way they come together with support for what the other has made. Although everyone may not be perfect at everything, the book encourages readers to keep going and enjoy what they have made.

The illustrations are great, and I loved the choices of color and detail as Arlo draws. The font is clear and easy to read, making this a great choice for reading aloud. The book will resonate best with elementary school aged readers, who may have experienced similar feelings to Arlo in their art or writing.

Final verdict: A cute story about self-acceptance and appreciating your work as it is, ARLO DRAWS AN OCTOPUS is a great picture book read for perfectionists. Recommend for elementary school aged readers.
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