GEEGER is here!

Today’s the day!

Geeger the Robot Goes to School is officially here!

I have worked tremendously hard on this early chapter book series, striving to find the perfect balance of silly and (slightly) serious, comforting and challenging, entertaining and enlightening. I hope these books help get kids hooked on reading, and leave them feeling more confident in their abilities to get through and delve deeper into longer-form narratives.

You can find Geeger the Robot Goes to School wherever books are sold or loaned (and if you can’t, for some reason, just ask your bookseller and/or librarian to get a copy for you!), and you can already preorder the second book in the series, Geeger the Robot: Lost and Found, which hits shelves on January 5th, 2021.

And don’t forget that you can join me next Wednesday, September 30th, for the Geeger the Robot Goes to School virtual launch party! It’s being hosted by the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, and more information and the link to join can be found at the Silver Unicorn site or my APPEARANCES page.

Lastly: THANK YOU once again to everyone who preordered Geeger the Robot Goes to School, and THANK YOU to everyone who goes out and gets their hands on a copy today and beyond!

~ Jarrett

Get to Know… Karina Yan Glaser!

My name is… Karina Yan Glaser.

I am an… author, illustrator, mom, baker, cook, quilter, animal lover.

As a kid, I was… a BIG READER! (I still am!)

Writing is… an opportunity to share your story with the world.

Drawing is… a way to show everyone what the world looks like through your eyes.

Reading is… a gateway to people, places, cultures, feelings, and dreams.

Books are… currently all over my apartment. How many books do you think I have? I tried counting once but I forgot the number. It’s definitely in the thousands!

Did you know… the fourth book of the Vanderbeekers series is coming out on Tuesday, September 15th? I’m so excited to share what the Vanderbeekers have been up to!

You can find me…

Website: www.karinaglaser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarinaYanGlaser

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karinaisreadingandwriting/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarinaYanGlaser/

GEEGER is coming!

My next book, Geeger the Robot Goes to School — the first book in the Geeger the Robot series — comes out just one week from tomorrow, and there are a couple things I want to share with you about that.

The first is that I’m hosting a (virtual) launch party with one of the many wonderful independent bookstores in my area: the Silver Unicorn in Acton, MA.

The event will take place on Wednesday, September 30th, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST. I plan to share a bit about the book and its creation, read a brief passage, do a drawing demo, and answer any questions guests have for me. Want to join? Head to the Silver Unicorn’s EVENTS page, find my event, and click the link provided on the bottom of the event description.

The second thing I want to tell you about is that I’m doing a preorder giveaway with the Silver Unicorn. So, if you order the book between RIGHT NOW and next week, when the book officially hits shelves, you will be entered to win a PRIZE. You probably want to know what the prize is, huh? It’s a custom work of art by yours truly! I will work directly with the winner to conceive of and create a work of art specially and specifically for them (or someone that they wish to get some artwork for).

If you want to enter the preorder giveaway, find Geeger the Robot Goes to School on the Silver Unicorn site (or just click HERE) and purchase your copy. The bookstore is keeping track of orders, and will randomly select a preorder-er as the winner of the prize. I will announce the winner at the launch party on the 30th, and will then get in touch to start the art-making process.

And to all of you who have preordered or plan on doing so: THANKS! I cannot wait to share this book with you. I hope you all like Geeger, and that you’ll stick around to read about all his adventures at Amblerville Elementary School!

~ Jarrett

New T-Shirts — and Masks!

A couple weeks ago, I shared the drawing below, and mentioned that I was thinking of using it for a new T-shirt — one that could spark bookish conversations wherever one wore it.

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The response was incredible. So I got right to work with CustomInk setting up a fundraiser.

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Amazingly, within 24 hours, over 200 T-shirts were sold. (If you want one, click HERE to get to the fundraising page.) And almost as soon as the fundraiser went live, people starting asking if I could get my art on a mask. Fortunately, CustomInk recently began making masks. And so I got to work with them setting up a fundraiser for those.

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I shared THIS fundraiser yesterday morning, and as of this post — less than 24 hours later! — over 250 masks have been sold. (If you want one, click HERE to get to the fundraising page.) I’m blown away, and beyond grateful for the encouragement and support that I continue to receive from you all. Together, we’ve done a great deal of good.

THANK YOU.

~ Jarrett

Get to Know… Adrianna Cuevas!

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My name is… “What’s for dinner?” No, that’s not right… “Where’s my PE shirt?” That can’t be it either. “Mom!” Well, kind of, but only for the last twelve years. I don’t suppose my husband and son would agree to “She Who Must Be Catered To And Obeyed.” One can only hope…

I am a… teller of fart jokes, baker of pastelitos, kayaker of Texas rivers, and wrangler of house pets. Sometimes I even manage to write stories.

As a kid, I was… in Miami, living almost entirely in my imagination while I consumed vast quantities of Cuban food. Now I’m in Texas, living almost entirely in my imagination while I consume vast quantities of Cuban food.

Writing is… how I preserve my family history, show my son that kids like him can be heroes, and put all the worlds and characters swirling around in my brain to good use. It is somehow miraculously accomplished while listening to both K-pop playlists and my son explain the deep intricacies of Minecraft.

Reading is… a way to escape and discover new worlds, new people, and new experiences. And it’s everywhere! Novels, comics, graphic novels, webtoons, manuals, encyclopedias… I even read a really fascinating bottle of face wash the other day.

Books are… FREAKING AMAZING! Like, seriously, don’t you walk into a bookstore or library and think “Holy crap!” Because I do. Some books that recently made me lose my minimal chill are Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera, In the Role of Brie Hutchens by Nicole Melleby, the 13th Street chapter book series by David Bowles, and A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi.

Did you know… that the gastric-brooding frog from Australia gives birth through its mouth? This was easily one of my favorite animal facts I learned while researching The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez. It’s horrifically fascinating and I both want to and really don’t want to try to picture it in my head.

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You can find me… on Twitter (@acuevaswrites) sharing equal parts books news and silly things my son says, and on Instagram (@adriannacuevas) sharing stacks of books I pray I’ll have time to read as well as recipes I’ve attempted to varying success.

“Welcome, Geeger!”

GEEGER THE ROBOT GOES TO SCHOOL hits shelves in less than two months, and more reviews are rolling in! Here’s some of what Kirkus Reviews had to say about the book:

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If you want to check out Kirkus’s full review of the book, you can do so here!

As always, preordering is HUGELY appreciated. And if you decide to preorder GEEGER THE ROBOT GOES TO SCHOOL and/or GEEGER THE ROBOT LOST AND FOUND, I highly encourage you to do so from your local independent bookstore. If you don’t have one in your community, consider using IndieBound.com or Bookshop.org. And if you want your books signed and personalized by me, you can always order from MY local indie, Porter Square Books!

THANK YOU!

~ Jarrett

Graphic Poetry

Way back at the beginning of the year (before we knew what 2020 had in store for us), I was given the opportunity to work with Scholastic to create a brand-new feature in their Storyworks Jr. magazine — Graphic Poetry. I made a comic “adaptation” of a lovely poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, “A Circle of Sun.”

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I was excited about this project for many reasons. For one, it happened to coincide with my working on some illustrated poetry of my own. (I hope to share more about all of that soon!) For another, I think that this sort of out-of-the-box exercise could be an excellent way for kids to explore both poetry AND comics. The sort of evocative, figurative language so often found in poetry lends itself wonderfully to visual adaptation, and comic-loving kiddos (and there are a lot of them out there!) might find, in poetry, a rich world of content to use to help them develop and flex their creative muscles.

All told, this was a fun, challenging project, and collaborating on it with the Storyworks team was a total blast. I’m grateful to the great Lauren Tarshis for thinking of me for this in the first place, and for giving me a great deal of creative freedom to explore the possibilities of this concept. If you don’t know about Scholastic’s collection of classroom magazines, check them out — and look for more Graphic Poetry in forthcoming issues of Storyworks Jr.!

~ Jarrett

Get to Know… Larissa Marantz!

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My name is… Larissa Brown Marantz.

I am… an illustrator, art teacher for little kids, big kids, and college kids, a cartoonist, a wife and mother, and I’m searching for Zen in a crazy world. I am Filipina and Black and have a multiracial family. I love seeing books with families that look like mine, so I aim to create picture books that represent my own family. I meditate daily, practice fasting, but love to eat pizza, brownies, and bacon cheese burgers with fries. I try to practice moderation in all things but sometimes go overboard and need an adjustment back to the middle. I love teaching art almost as much as I love making it and I love sharing what I do with people.

As a kid, I was… a voracious reader, too scared to ever speak up in class, but very imaginative. I loved to people-watch and I still do. I fell in love with drawing in kindergarten when I first mixed blue and red and discovered how to make purple (my favorite color) and I still love mixing colors to this day. As a kid, I was the only Black student in my grade at school and felt out of place for most of my childhood. I often wished I had long blonde hair like most of my classmates instead of the curly afro style I wore, but it wasn’t until I was older that I learned to embrace who I was, inside and out.

Writing is… hard, so I leave it to my husband, Keith Marantz, who writes books for me to illustrate. Sometimes I have good ideas and we’ll write things together, but mostly I like to put the finishing touches on the books we write and leave the heavy stuff to him. We do a lot of talking about writing, and we talk a lot about story when we watch TV shows and movies. We know writing takes a lot of character development, plot development, and nuance, and we love to talk about that while we go on walks, or while lounging in the pool on a hot summer day.

K&L Headshot Art Website

Drawing is… pure magic. As a very shy kid, drawing helped me to find my voice. There is no better feeling than to make something out of nothing that elicits an emotional response from a viewer (that goes for any type of creating, be it writing, cooking, performing, but I’m only really good at drawing and painting!). Drawing is also hard! But I love learning how to improve and I also love to teach others how to improve at their drawing. Drawing is a skill that can be learned, but one has to be willing to do a lot of bad drawings before they can get to the good ones. Not everything you draw will be great, but as long as you enjoy the process of creating, you’ll inevitably get to a point where you’ll make something that you love, and others will too.

Reading is… what I do to learn about myself, discover new worlds, fall in love with new characters, and connect to other people. My favorite things to read are graphic novels and esoteric books that help me find my Zen, like Eckhart Tolle. I have always loved reading biographies and have been inspired by the way people overcome adversity. Reading about the lives and experiences of other people builds compassion, tolerance, and understanding for the world around you.

Larissa_Marantz_Promo_May2020Books are… a way to find comfort and solace in these trying times. I once heard an incredibly moving and inspirational commencement address from one of my child’s teachers and she talked about growing up extremely poor. She talked about her love of reading and her thirst for knowledge as a child. By reading books, becoming educated, and focusing on increasing her knowledge about math, science, and the world around her, she was able to lift herself up. Thanks to the treasure of our public libraries, we have free access to books that can open up our world to entire universes of knowledge. Of course, the internet can do that now, too. Where webpages are “bookmarked” and scrolled for continued reading, I feel like books are a tangible place that readers can revisit and get lost in over and over again, in a truly focused way without the itch of opening a new tab or chiming notifications or banner ads and dancing gifs stealing our attention away from the printed word.

Did you know… that I can say my artwork was hanging in the White House? In 2008, my paintings of Barack Obama were featured in two galleries – the Democratic National Convention and the Manifest Hope: DC Inauguration gallery. After Obama entered the White House, I sent illustration prints of my work to the curator of the gallery shows who handed them out to people all over his office. At the time I was unaware that he recently began working for Valerie Jarrett at the White House. He told me, “Your art is up all over the place!” Had President Barack Obama seen my work? I think it’s very likely. Although sadly I can’t confirm it, but I like to think he had. Also, two of my paintings were selected by Senator Kamala Harris to be displayed in her Washington DC offices in 2019.

You can find me… AND CLYDE

On his website: ClydeTheHippo.com

On Twitter: @clydethehippo

On my website: LarissaMarantz.com

Teaching online art classes: OCArtStudios.com

Talking about my upcoming Graphic Novel: Making a Graphic Novel

On Twitter: @LarissaMarantz

On Instagram: @larissadrawsstuff

On Facebook: @LarissaMarantzArtist

THE ENGINERDS STRIKE BACK — Cover Reveal!

Yesterday, I revealed the cover of the third book in the EngiNerds series, The EngiNerds Strike Back, at the MG Book Village — the site I co-founded and continue to help run. Even though I’ve set up and hosted dozens, maybe even over a hundred, cover reveals for others, this morning’s reveal constituted my first official one. Typically I just post the covers onto social media, along with a whole bunch of exclamation points and emojis.

If you want to learn more about The EngiNerds Strike Back and hear some behind-the-scenes stuff about the cover, you can click HERE to check out my interview at the Book Village. And if you just want to take a look at the cover — created, once again, by the incredible Serge Seidlitz, here you go!

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The book is due to hit shelves on February 2nd, 2021, but is available for preorder wherever books are sold! If you’re considering preordering, please consider doing so from an independent bookseller — your local one, if you’ve got one! As always, if you order from my local indie, Porter Square Books, I’ll swing by the store once the book is out and sign your copy.

THANKS!

~ Jarrett